Back in May, we reported on an organization called Doctors for Sensible Gun Laws. The group was fighting against the American Medical Association’s nationwide jihad against gun ownership. A slippery slope deal that took the initial form of a “guideline” telling family physicians to ask their patients with children about guns in the home. When my RI kids’ doc raised the subject I told him to mind his own damn business. As did a Florida woman when her pediatrician broached ballistics. Only in this case Dr. Chris Okonkwo told new mother Amber Ullman to piss off, or words to that effect. Ocala.com takes up the story . . .
“Whether I have a gun has nothing to do with the health of my child,” said the mother of three girls . . .
Ullman said Okonkwo – medical director of Children’s Health of Ocala – didn’t explain why he was asking the question.
“All he asked me was, ‘Are you refusing to answer the question?’ and I said, ‘Yes, I’m refusing to answer the question,'” she said. “The questions stopped at that point.”
Ullman said she called her husband from the doctor’s office and threatened to call a lawyer over the incident.
Okonkwo told the Star-Banner he asked Ullman about whether she had a gun in her home because of the safety of her children, and told her so.
He said he asks such questions of all his patients so he can advise parents to lock their guns away from children.
“I don’t tell them to get rid of the guns,” he said. “The purpose is to give advice.”
He said that more than half the families he treats have guns.
So whats the Doc’s beef then? Apparently, when it comes to his patients, it’s in Okonkwo we trust. Or f-off.
Okonkwo said the issue was not about whether the parents owned a gun.
He said the doctor and patient have to develop a relationship of trust and that if parents won’t answer such basic safety questions, they cannot trust each other about more important health issues.
He said he respected a patient’s right not to answer questions, but it was also his right to no longer treat them, and he isn’t required by law to do so.
I’m not buying it. And well done for the newspaper to point this out:
The American Association of Pediatrics urges pediatricians to ask questions of parents about gun ownership when they get children’s medical histories and to suggest that parents remove guns from the home.
To which I’d add that firearms accidents involving children in the U.S. are statistically insignificant. Better the good doctor should ask his patients if they put a bath mat down on the floor. Seriously.