I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Doctors should be able to ask their patients anything they want to ask their patients up to and including “Are you now or have you ever been a member of the communist party?” The government has no business dictating what your physician can and can not ask the people in their care, just as it has no business requiring you to answer. Yes, I get it. If docs are “allowed” to ask their patients about communism, or firearms in the home, they’re acting as government spies. Or will, eventually. But the First Amendment is the First Amendment for a reason: freedom of speech is our most important natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right. OK, so, Florida . . .

passed a law prohibiting doctors from asking nine out of ten of their patients who chew gum whether they chew sugarless gun. Wait. That’s not it (70’s reference.) The Gunshine State enacted the Privacy of Firearm Owners Act. The Act prohibits doctors from asking patients about firearms – provided guns aren’t directly relevant to the patients’ care.

Aye there’s the rub. The FL NRA and Co. reckon gun ownership is not a health-related issue. Doctors do. OMG do they ever. Over at theatlantic.com, Dr. James Hamblin goes ramblin’ on and on about his colleagues need – need I tell you! – to talk to their patients about gun safety. Needless to say, he starts by waving the bloody shirt and trotting out the usual misleading, context-free stats.

When police in Texas City, Texas, arrived at a suburban apartment on August 7, they found an eight-year-old boy who was seriously injured. He had been shot in the face, and the shooter was still in the home. His seven-year-old cousin pulled the trigger.

A helicopter swept the victim 40 miles north to a Houston hospital, where he was taken into emergency surgery in critical condition. He is alive, and poised to elude a place among the 3,000 U.S. children who will die this year as a result of gunshot wounds. In 2009, 114 kids died as a result of unintentional gunshots—almost all of them in their own homes, and most commonly shot by other children.

Once again, please note that those 3k children stat includes teenage gang-bangers. The more realistic number: the 114 children who died from negligent firearms discharges in 2009. Which is a whole lot fewer than the 650 under 12 years old who died in car accidents in 2011. Or the 3115 teenagers who died in car accidents in 2010.

Yes, but . . . if docs asking parents (or kids) about guns save one life . . . OK, sure, why not? Seriously and again, if Docs want to ask about guns or under-sink poisons or swimming pools or seat belts, whatever.

But make no mistake: patients should not answer firearms-related questions. Docs are as virulent a group of anti-gunners as you’ll ever encounter outside of a Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America “Grilling for Gun Sense” barbecue.

The American Academy of Pediatrics likens counseling on gun safety to counseling on lead paint avoidance or seat belt use. Pediatricians, the group’s recent policy statement reads, are “urged to counsel parents about the dangers of allowing children and adolescents to have access to guns inside and outside the home.” Doctors are encouraged to promote trigger locks, lock boxes, and gun safes. Some distribute cable locks.

The American College of Physicians is similarly proactive, calling gun violence a public health issue “requiring immediate attention.” The group, of which most practicing internal-medicine doctors are members, declared in its recent position statement: “Physicians must become more active in counseling patients about firearm safety.” The college implores doctors to open that conversation by asking patients (with and without children in their homes) about gun ownership . . .

The American Medical Association calls gun violence a horrific epidemic. In 2011, the group issued a call for doctors to counsel patients on gun safety . . .

The American Medical Association and American College of Physicians have taken clear stances in the realm of gun politics, with the former outspoken in its support of a ban on assault weapons and the latter imploring physicians to become “more involved in community efforts to restrict ownership and sale of handguns.”

What’s up with that? You’d think that Doctors would be fervently pro-gun, given that they’re targets for drug-seeking criminals. You’d also be forgiven for wondering why Docs can’t understand the simple fact that guns save life. Well, it’s simple enough.

Some (most?) doctors believe they are the ultimate guardians of their patients’ health and well-being. And by “health care” and “well being” they mean everything and anything that has to do with their patients’ health and longevity. From smoking to carbon emissions. From baby formula to GMO foods. From seat belts to gun safes to “assault weapons.”

Of course, doctors are not the ultimate guardians of their patients’ health or well-being. Patients are. Just as the government is not the ultimate protector of our natural rights. We are. But some (most?) doctors believe they’re smarter than their patients. So they claim the God-like power to tell their patients what to do. In the form of a question.

Again, doctors have the right to be jerks about guns. And we have the right to advise any patient asked about firearms to tell the Doc it’s none of their business. Or, indeed, why they think it is. I’m sure the answer will be enlightening, but not in the way that the doctor intended.

 

78 Responses to Doctors -> God Complex -> Gun Control

  1. I would agree were it not for our current universal healthcare scheme. There is a huge potential for abuse, i.e. doctors acting as sensors for the government. I would no more want my governemnt-mandated physician asking about my guns than a tax collector, a Soldier or a LEO.

    • “Universal healthcare scheme”

      U wot m8?

      Obamacare is about as far as you can get from single payer “universal” healthcare.

      • No it isn’t. A free market health care system is as far as it gets from single-payer. Obamacare still relies heavily on taxation and subsidies.

        • There is nothing ‘free market’ about doctors, dentists, nurses, etc. These are all members of closed shop guilds (Professional Associations) with absolute, government-protected monopolies over service, but zero oversight from either the state or ‘consumers’–they are completely autonomous and self-regulating. Until Medical Associations are union-busted (and maybe they should be), talk of ‘free market’ medicine is completely laughable.

          And big chunks of medicine, even in the U.S., are already ‘socialized’: Medicaid, Medicare, Native and Veterans’ coverage, city and county ambulances and hospitals, state hospitals, the CDC and FDA, massive public subsidies toward State and private medical schools, huge public subsidies for medical research, and the fact that the Federal Government acts as the ultimate reinsurer of private health insurance plans.

          Here’s what happened up here, in Canada. First, the government of the day (Mulroney PCs), two decades ago, decided to massively increase immigration, including tens of thousands of elderly, sickly third world family reunification cases. This was an actuarial catastrophe, and you can see the results in any major Canadian metro area’s hospitals and seniors’ care facilities. Secondly, Provincial governments like Ralph Klein’s (my Province) and Mike Harris’, with the connivance of Medical Associations, slashed medical school spots to silly levels, creating an artificial scarcity. These factors caused the ‘doctor shortages’ you hear about, though it isn’t that bad as the Suzane Sommers types pretend it to be. And note that the ENTIRE Nova Scotia healthcare budget is the same as what Ford USA spends on employee health plans, amounting to over a thousand bucks of every American made car you buy–a ‘health tax,’ if there ever was one.

          In summary, I like Canada’s healthcare system, but would like gun laws like Vermont or Alaska, and weather like Hawai’i or Florida. I think Chicago–stricter gun laws than Canada, expensive medical care, worse weather than Canada’s West Coast–would be the worst of all worlds.

      • Obamacare is single-payer, just single-payer by proxy. It turns the health insurance companies into utilities, but the major decision making now is done in Washington. The health insurance companies are “private-sector” on paper, but government-directed now. Also not all universal healthcare systems are single-payer. The Democrats in this country have a fetish for single-payer because they do not understand that the best universal healthcare systems are not single-payer and fall for the old socialist idea that if everything is just centralized under the government, it will work much more efficiently.

        • Just like the public schools…and the post office…and the IRS…those bastions government sponsored efficiency and low levels of waste alongside high quality services…right?

        • Obama’s campaign got bigger corporate donations from the medical-financial lobby than Romney’s. Obamacare (Federalized Romneycare) is a massive public subsidy to medical-financial companies, pulling funding away from the truly ‘socialist’ and single-payer Medicaid and Medicare to pay for it for lower-income people. And there is auto insurance-style mandated coverage. Nothing ‘socialist’ or ‘single payer’ here.

          Along with Denmark, the U.S. is pretty exceptional in the developed world for essentially unregulated corporate and union campaign funding. Arizona was smart with its Clean Elections laws, which, among other things, was why SB 1070 passed, despite much whining from the Chamber of Commerce types. Canada has a similar law, thanks to a blood feud between the outgoing Liberal PM and his rival–Jean Chretien’s election laws basically sank the Liberal ship, with Paul Martin on it. This is a good law: no corporate or union donations, and a CDN$1.200 donation limit. And the current Conservative government recently toughened voter ID requirements. Plus, we still use recountable paper ballots, rather than those shifty Diebold machines. Say what you want about Canada, but our election laws are better.

      • At thievery least the Electronic Medical Records requirements of OCare makes every doctor a govt sponsored info collector.

    • And from now on, if any doctor asks about your gun ownership, ask him the following:

      “Are you one of the doctors who is responsible for the 98,000 deaths per year due to preventable medical mistakes? How many deaths have resulted from your medical mistakes? What are the names of doctors in this county or city who have killed even one person through a preventable medical mistake? What are you doing, personally, to reveal the names and revoke the medical licenses of any doctor who has killed an innocent patient through a medical mistake? Hey, it’s for the children!”

      Sit back and enjoy the outraged sputtering.

  2. Real old news, yes, the medical establishment has been under the thumb of the ruling class for a very long while, the only possible to change this is to eliminate any form of insurance requirement and let the medical professional reset as a much more real market service. Until this happens all this convsation is hot air.

  3. Sure Doc, but first let me ask to make sure I am safe:

    When did you stop beating your wife
    When did you first molest that child
    Why do you like to dress up like a woman and have you ass spanked
    Why do you cheat on your taxes and claim your assistant’s kid as your dependent
    Why don’t you tell me why you didn’t order a test done on my kid so you can make your bonus numbers for the quarter

  4. You got it backward Robert a doctor asking questions that is non medical is taking away all your rights 1A,2A,3A,4A,5A…………..WHY because it will be recorded and made public…WE have a right to privacy ,,,,take away my privacy and you have no BILL OF RIGHTS…boy the communist and Hitler would live how DUMB AMERIKANS are……..

    • I think you have it backwards. If you choose to go to a doctor, that’s your affair. He/she can ask any questions, but you have no obligation to answer them. Refuse to discuss it either way. If they press the point, find another doctor.

      A doctor asked me about guns once… and I asked him what made him qualified to advise me. He just looked surprised and had no answer. That was before I was a certified firearms instructor, by the way. As it is, I’ve not seen a doctor in 8 years, and have no intention of doing so again unless I develop a major leak or break something.

      Don’t have any “insurance,” so I live very carefully. 🙂

  5. The whole law was to prevent government registry based on health care forms asking about guns.
    How these idiots twist the meaning of it, I can’t even imagine.

  6. Let me make this as plain as possible. If my doctor starts asking me about gun ownership, I’ll politlely tell him to kiss my a** because it’s none of his business!

  7. That’s one of the reasons I’ve been selective about who provides my medical care. Remember, your doc works for you. You are in essence hiring them to provide a specific service. If you took your car to a mechanic and they started asking off topic/off putting questions, you’d simply go elsewhere. No different with a physician.

    That said, my doc is a great guy. He’s sharp, stays current with treatment options, is open minded, and usually right on with diagnosis. He also was recently shopping for his first carry gun, and we have plans to get to the range and do some rifle shooting.

  8. It’s sad that doctors have to be treated like cops.
    Only participate as much as you absolutely have to. Don’t talk about anything other than what you’re there to see the doctor for. Ask if you’re free to go when done. Maybe bring a lawyer with you for your colonoscopy.

  9. I do not have kids but I have 6 nieces and nephews. I asked my brothers and sisters, has a doctor ever asked about:

    1) Are the kids wearing a helmet when they ride their bike?
    2) Have you a swimming pool? Have your kids had swimming lessons?
    3) Do you keep drugs or other chemicals locked up?

    I do not remember the whole list nor did I write it down but it was long.

    My question is this, if doctors are not asking any of those other things, why now are they so interested in guns?

  10. As a physician I have never and will never ask about stupid shit that is none of my damn business. All doctors aren’t self centered turds, just most.

  11. There are a couple of factors that enter into the discussion. First, there were doctors in Florida who were making treatment contingent upon disclosure of firearms ownership. Second, in the past medical records were generally handwritten, and thus reviewable only by viewing record (which had to be obtained by subpoena). Now, as a result of Obamacare, records are kept in an electronic format accessible by the government, insurance companies, other doctors and other health care facilities, thus eliminating privacy. Third, as Robert’s numbers reveal, in a country of 330,000,000 people, a few hundred casualties, no matter how tragic, is not an “epidemic.”

    On a separate note, my father was an ER surgeon at Cook County Hospital (now Stoeger Memorial) in Chicago where all the gangbangers were brought after some violent incident. He was also for a number of years medical director of the Cook County Jail hospital. In all his years of working there, he was, according to him, never threatened or mugged, and he never owned a firearm. Only one of his friends was ever mugged, and that did not go over well in the gang community, as the gangs recognized the need to be on good terms with the doctors who would save their lives. Maybe things have changed.

  12. The groups you mentioned hardly represent all physicians. Docs are as varied as the rest of the US population in their views on guns, and I and many others carry daily.

    • Exactly!

      And let’s not forget the obviously pro-2A psychiatrist in Pennsylvania who ignored his building’s “gun-free zone” sign and defended himself and others with a firearm against a homicidal lunatic.

  13. I don’t trust doctors much more than I trust police officers. I only answer on a “need to know” basis. I’m a crabby old women, doctors and cops, really don’t want spend more time than absolutely needed and I feel the same about them. Otherwise, I’m a cordial, nice old gal. Just don’t ask if I have a gun or do I know why I was stopped!

  14. Antis, doc’s or otherwise; they always like to start out with some real or imgined tragic anecdote to paint a broad portrait of some gloom and doom to follow unless you see things their way and march in lock step with them.

  15. Not all doctors think that way, in fact according to the American Academy of Pediatricians own survey:

    Only 12 percent of the pediatricians surveyed stated that they always identify families who keep firearms in their homes. Fifty percent of the physicians surveyed never identify which patients’ families have firearms at home.

    Some 33 percent of the physicians surveyed reported that they always recommend that families should unload and lock away their guns. Thirty-seven percent of the physicians never provide that guidance.

    Only 18 percent of the physicians surveyed stated that they always recommend that handguns be removed from their patients’ homes.

    http://www.aap.org/en-us/professional-resources/Research/Pages/PS25_GunsandChildrenAAPPeriodicSurveyResults.aspx#sthash.HejVFUHG.dpuf

  16. I think there should be some literature drawn up for the doctor to give to his patients, at their request. This literature would outline safe gun handling and in no way advise for or against the ownership of any firearm. The Doctor would simply ask his patient if they would like some literature on safe gun handling. If the patient says yes, then the Doc would hand the literature to the patient, and that would be the end of it.
    If the patient does not want the literature, and said no the offering, that also would be the end of it.

  17. Ah, geez! Not this nonsense again.

    Let me break it down for those who don’t know: The AMA doesn’t represent the vast majority of physicians. In fact, only a tiny percentage are members. Ditto the American College of Physicians. As for the Pediatrics academy, yes, they’re anti-gun by and large, but a disproportionate number of pediatricians lean liberal compared to most docs…who are a largely conservative group.

    I would be much more interested in stats–ideally accurate stats (I’m talking to you, Demanding Moms!)–about actual physician polling on pro-2A/anti-2A…NOT position statements by groups who represent themselves and NOT the population of doctors at large.

    Could be where I live, but most docs around here are pro-2A, gun owners, constitutionalists, and hate the nanny state’s intrusion into what can and can’t be said or what can or can’t be owned.

  18. I don’t have a problem with doctors using the first amendment as justification to ask anything they so choose.

    As long as doctors don’t have a problem with me using the fifth amendment to answer question I so choose.

    • Then every doctor appointment should start off with a reading of your Miranda rights. Let’s just be sure that everyone knows their rights and realizes that this trusted, caring soul with the lab coat, intimidating professional demeanor, and office wall-papered with fancy degrees is, in effect, an agent of the state. Anything you say can and will be used against you.

      • You forgot pimps for the big pharm companies…

        Or maybe hoes for the big pharm companies would be more appropriate.

  19. Couching a doctor’s firearms-related questions of a patient in terms of the doctor merely exercising his or her first amendment rights is fallacious. When he or she is encumbered with a legal obligation to report suspicions gleaned from these exchanges, is recording a patient’s answers in a database accessible by the government, then that doctor is no longer an acting on his own behalf as a private citizen expressing his own views. The doctor is acting as an agent of the state, extracting information from a vulnerable and trusting individual, which can be introduced as evidence against the patient. The information may be tangentially related, at best, to the patient’s health, but immensely material to the patient’s legal standing and durability of their rights.

    Such a doctor is more akin to a police detective interrogating a suspect, an exchange which, for the Constitution-lovers among us, is forbidden once an individual exercises their right to remain silent. Exercising that right is already extremely difficult under the stress and duress of a police investigation, where one knows up front that the police are not there to assist you, but to collect evidence against you. In the case of a doctor, there is no expectation of an adversarial relationship, but exactly the opposite. One expects information to which a doctor is privy to be held in the strictest of confidence, on a level with one’s attorney, spouse, or spiritual adviser. The expectation of privacy is sacrosanct, with zero anticipation that casual inquiries about perfectly legal conduct could become evidence to be used against you at a later date.

    If doctor’s are ohhh soooo genuinely concerned about their patients’ firearms handling and safety, and not their own abundantly documented goal of severe firearms regulation, then let them offer patients a questionnaire as new patients or upon each visit, as they usually do, anyway. The form can provide patients with the opportunity to opt in to discussion of certain behavior and lifestyles. List firearms usage on the form, I say. If patients are interested, then they can indicate that interest by checking the box and opening the door to that conversation.

    And that’s probably a good conversation to have. After all, firearm usage does have an impact on one’s hearing, which should be considered in terms of the countermeasures a shooter employs. There’s also, so I’ve read, a risk with women who are or may become pregnant handling lead ammunition. And for everyone, inhalation of gases surrounding the discharge of firearm can have negative health consequences. Discussion of these and other health aspects of firearms usage could be useful, but inquiries into mere firearms possession, when mere possession poses no risk to health and every risk to rights, is well out of bounds.

    • Doctors are not “agents of the state” …with perhaps the exception of those military docs or VA docs. Your medical record is NOT accessible (legally, anyway…right NSA?) by the government beyond diagnostic and billing codes for those receiving gov’t insurance (e.g., Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare). I have no doubt there will be a push for such access by the gov’t (see Obamacare and ironically, HIPAA), but right now that’s still private short of a court order.

      Doctors are also under NO obligation to report firearms ownership. Period.

    • Couching a doctor’s firearms-related questions of a patient in terms of the doctor merely exercising his or her first amendment rights is fallacious.

      Bingo.

      Conversations between doctor and patient are private, contractual communications not subject to first-amendment protections. First-amendment protections are not absolute. For example, employees (and employers) do not have first-amendment protections when acting in the service of their employer. Employers may set policies regarding speech of their employees, and laws exist regarding sexual harassment – laws that restrict first-amendment rights.

      Doctors are subject to certain mandatory reporting requirements – requirements that can, have, and will be abused by a government that wishes to restrict the second-amendment rights of private citizens. Thus, a doctor even asking the question poses a violation of patients’ second, third, fourth, and fifth-amendment rights.

      Arguing a doctor’s first-amendment rights to pry into their patients’ privacy is pure sophistry.

      • And the best part about Obama care , once it get’s going full force , too late many will at last learn that it was always about building a POLICE SLAVE STATE,the back door way to destroy the Bill Of RIGHTS….. They can or will come into your home in force and take or tell you what they want all in the name of health control… THINK IT OUT … no privacy at all, they will control every part of your life even how or where you spend your money and what on and what for , they will you tell WHAT TO believe or not believe…the list becomes endless…

  20. Doctor’s Q: So, do you own any guns?

    Patient’s A: So Doc, do you format your patient care protocols to maximize your profits and income?

  21. The Bill of Rights is a list of INDIVIDUAL rights that cannot be legally infringed upon by the GOVERNMENT. Once doctors were required to make all medical records available to the federal government those records become government records. Records the government has no right to access but will anyway. At this point a doctor asking about your guns is no different than a government census worker asking about them, or even a federal law enforcement agent, because the doctors are now acting as federal agents. There is no doctor-patient confidentiality any more.

  22. Docs are as virulent a group of anti-gunners as you’ll ever encounter

    And, then you go on to quote organizations, like the AMA as “proof.” I’ve mentioned this before…. The AMA can claim about 15% of physicians as members.

    I have a LOT of doctor-friends who are very much “pro-gun-rights.” They own guns. They shoot. Some compete at high levels. Again… a lot of my friends are doctors (‘cuz I is one)… and WE LIKE GUNS.

    I submit that when it comes to doctors being “anti” or “pro,” it is more likely related to their upbringing, political positions, and even geography / culture. Not all doctors (probably not even a simple majority) think that asking about firearms is “health-related.”

    I agree and understand with the 1st Amendment defense of asking whatever they want to ask. But, the whole issue of EHRs (electronic health records) accessible to gawd-knows-who, thanks to the ACA (O’bummer-care) throws a wrench into the gears of freedom. How do we reconcile the doctors’ 1A Rights with patients’ right to privacy as it relates to their 2A Rights?

    It would seem the best response for patients is to simply LIE, “Oh no. I would never have a gun in my house.”

    If you express a refusal to answer, it’s a tacit admission of ownership.

    • racer88, as a Doc, do you think HIPPA will always be set in confidentiality stone?

      As the ACA sinks it’s tentacles into the doc-patient relationship, even you have to realize the implications.

      • I believe the .gov is exempt from HIPAA. So, no… I have no faith that there will be any privacy afforded to patients from the government once they get their hands on EHRs.

  23. The First Amendment is the First Amendment for a reason: to protect The People from agents of the state, not to protect agents of the state from The People.

    When doctors act as agents of the state, we are supposed to be protected from them by the First Amendment. They can’t hide behind 1A. The FL law is absolutely correct.

  24. I talk about firearms with my doctor at every visit. He just bought an AR-15 and I just bought a Sig P227 🙂
    Just need to find the right doctor.

  25. My gastrointerologist just bought a Judge and asked me what ammo was good in it. he also pointed me at some good local events.

  26. I couldn’t disagree more, refusing to answer is akin to saying you do own a gun and more so that you are defensive about it. That tells them everything they want to know. Furthermore, find out what happens to you if you refuse to take your kids to the Pediatrician for their exams and vaccinations, the government forces you to do so and the AMA gives out the questionnaire that all docs (in my area at least) use, which includes that question. FL’s law does not infringe on the Dr.’s 1st Amendment right, if the doc is so adamant about encouraging the use of locks and safes, they are free to have that discussion with ALL of their patients and skip the asking part. Passing a law making it illegal to do that would be in breech of the 1st, not keeping them from asking as you state.

  27. As a physician, I am just as appalled as the rest of you by the sheer arrogance and stupidity of these medical activists who take it upon themselves to meddle in the private lives of patients. They have no more expertise on “gun violence” than their patients do, probably less. And raising the temperature by calling them “public health crises” doesn’t make it so. The only people impressed by these bogus alarms are like-minded dopes who think they know better than the rest of us about the proper way to live.

    Luckily, the only doctors who actually take these “recommendations” seriously are self-styled progressives, or neophytes who haven’t yet learned to think for themselves—a distinct minority (I hope!). The ridiculous thing about these bogus “recommendations” is that the don’t work anyway, yet another (albeit less principled) reason why no sensible doctor follows them. My own doctor gently chides me about losing weight, and I follow his suggestion right up until the moment I get a craving for ice cream. He wouldn’t dream of asking me about guns and I wouldn’t dream of telling him.

  28. There is an incredibly easy solution here. Doctors should treat gun ownership like seatbelts and assume that folks have a gun. For example, my pcp is a bit of a jerk and reminds me everytime i come into the office that i need to wear a seatbelt when i’m in a car and a helmet when I’m on a bike (motorized or otherwise). He tells me he keeps saying this because most folks my age die in accidents and so what if i hear his speel a few times, if he says it enough it might just sink in.

    He doesn’t ask how i travel, he just puts the info out there and i do with it what i wish.

    If a doctor is so concerned about firearms, just give out info on safe storage and general gun safety… No need to ask about ownership. If someone isnt interested in listening, they won’t.

  29. “There are a couple of factors that enter into the discussion. First, there were doctors in Florida who were making treatment contingent upon disclosure of firearms ownership. Second, in the past medical records were generally handwritten, and thus reviewable only by viewing record (which had to be obtained by subpoena). Now, as a result of Obamacare, records are kept in an electronic format accessible by the government, insurance companies, other doctors and other health care facilities, thus eliminating privacy.”

    Yes, and I don’t understand why Robert Farago doesn’t understand.

  30. It isn’t that a doctor has the right to ask the question. But why the doctor would feel it is necessary to address gun related questions. Nor are doctors qualified to speak on firearms. If a patient comes into the Emergency Room because they have been hit by a car, the doctor is qualified to address the injuries, but his/her knowledge of automobiles, automobile licensing, the mechanics of automobiles the moral and social aspects and safe operation of a vehicle is no greater than any other person. If doctors are going to speak on the subject then they need to make the person they are speaking to aware that their opinion is a personal opinion and not that of the medical community or that he/she is speaking on their own behalf and not that of the medical community. Doctors are not in the morality business nor are they in the business to determine what is or is not moral or correct. Not to mention a doctor can lose their license for telling a person that their life style is wrong. No , as much as they may not like Christians or Agnostics they can not speak to their patients about their religion or lack of, while doing so in a position of authority. As a gun owner if I were to bring someone into my shop, and begin to tell them how to treat their cold then charge them for that service along with the cleaning and adjustment of their firearm. The medical community would go after me both feet for practicing medicine without a license. So if the doctor is going to talk to me about guns, then he needs to do so OFF THE CLOCK or not charge me for the visit. It isn’t freedom of speech when the doctor is using his/her position dictate his own personal policies and political beliefs.

      • I know a pool guy here in Florida.

        He concealed carries because he was attacked by a dog once.

        According to him, it will be only once.

    • And thanks to the VA. and other Doc,s it is now way past 12,000 vets that have had their guns and other rights taken away……that is not medical care that is back door gun control and police state ……..welcome to 1984!

  31. Just had a physical yesterday and the intake form had the “do you have guns in the home?” question. Pondered lying, not answering, writing “nunya”, but then realized that the question was in with “do you have smoke detectors?” and “how many servings of fruits and vegetables do you eat each day?” so I figured Mayo health system looks at guns as good things and just wants to make sure I have enough.

  32. I’m down with this whole idea of doctors being the universal source of safety information for their patients!
    – – – First, I want doctors to be legally required to inform patients about the statistical data concerning malpractice and errors in diagnosis and prescriptions;
    – – – Second, I want doctors to be legally required to inform patients about the studies on DGUs and the peer reviewed studies on accidents.
    Just as soon as we see laws on my two favorite topics I’ll consider questions about guns and every other more-important hazard in homes.

  33. On par with countless posts that have impacted my life in a positive and personal way, I learned about this particular provision of the ACA in an earlier TTAG post regarding the Florida ban. My brother had never mentioned it, so I thought maybe the law applies only to medical doctors and not chiropractors. The fact that I didn’t know kept gnawing at me, so I thought at the very least, I could find out and use it as a “one up” on my dear, know-it-all sibling. Yeah, baby!

    I found the provision, I think. Sort of. I got aggravated reading legaleeeze. Unlike many of you, I’m not a genius or an attorney, or a genius attorney. Thank goodness I finally found something that I could understand and comprehend. Eureka. It’s much more interesting, informative and even encouraging. It’s a great piece written by a D.C. who has a practice in Georgia.

    http://iriscitychiro.com/patient-education-blog/177-lawyers-guns-and-money

  34. Any doctor that makes the mistake of asking me about gun ownership is going to get an earful. The appropriate response is to put the doctor on the defensive by asking them intrusive questions like: Are you an alcoholic? Do you now or have you ever abused prescription or recreational drugs? Do you cheat on your spouse or are you sexually promiscuous? Do you have any communicable diseases? Have you ever been successfully sued for malpractice? If not, how many times have you been unsuccessfully sued for malpractice? Have you ever had your license suspended or revoked? At this point in the conversation I’m sure the physician will be rethinking the whole “do you own guns” routine.

  35. This isn’t a first ammendment issue.

    It’s a fourth ammendment issue.

    Just as military members have their speech restricted due to their position, security clearance, etc., a medical professional should have certain restrictions on their inquiries due to privelage and potential for abuse.

    If a doctor refuses treatment without an answer to the question, then he/she is an unethical doctor.

  36. I read the quote too fast and thought it said “The American Academy of Pedantics.” Judging what they said, I may have been right anyway.

  37. Doctor: “Ma’am, do you by chance own a gun?”
    Woman: “Why do you ask?”
    D: “Um, if you were to own a gun, would you be the one who maintains it?”
    W: “Yes, doctor; I own a gun.”
    D: “If you wash off the Hoppe’s #9 sooner rather than later, you will clear up that eczema in no time. Good day, ma’am; please see the receptionist on your way out.”

  38. Respectfully, if a doctor asks you if you own firearms outside a specific health issue were it might be relevant…

    The answer is not: That is none of your business.

    The answer is simply: No.

    (…because it’s none of their business.)

  39. I am a healthcare provider (Physician Assistant or PA-C…no not a medical assistant, I actually practice medicine). On well child exams I discuss risk factors such as swimming, proper use of helmets while riding bikes, proper restraints in vehicles, and I also discuss gun safety. Specifically I say “if you have guns in your home please keep them stored securely away from the curious hands of your kids” and I also suggest implementing the rule we have in my home that is: If you want to see or shoot dad’s guns ask mom or dad and we will be happy to allow you to any time you ask, just don’t try to get to them or play with them without asking. I don’t feel that I am in any way being intrusive and I also don’t have to document that guns are or are not in the home, rather that gun safety was discussed and advised.

  40. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom to be a licensed doctor. They can ask whatever they want, but their certification should be revoked.

    • And under Obama care anything you say is public (now under government files), we must all understand Obama care laws are about total control ! Not about medical care , they want to know EVEREYTHING and will control all ………our privacy is gone…1A is dead ..2A is next ……..WELCOME to the NEW WORLD ORDER. HAIL CEASAR !

  41. Scenario One…

    Doc: “Do you own guns?”

    Patient: “I don’t think that’s relevant.”

    Doc notes in his records that patient is defensive about gun ownership. Is probably a paranoid gun owner.

    Scenario Two…

    Doc: “Do you own guns?”

    Patient: “Oh no. Guns seem so risky.”

    Doc notes that the patient is ‘properly educated’ about guns and poses no threat to others, especially government.

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