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“(W)hen the constitutional rights of one party come into friction with those of another – in an imbalanced power relationship – the Gentile balancing test must be applied. In this case, judging the constitutionality of professional speech regulation such as FOPA, Florida’s interest in enforcing FOPA decidedly outweighs any First Amendment right of physicians. This is a recognition that when a doctor is talking professionally to her patient, it’s not the same as a casual conversation or a public expression of opinion. It’s a special kind of speech whose purpose is only to help the patient.” DRGO Media Director Dr. Arthur Z. Przebinda in our comment section.

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91 Responses to Blue Force Gear Quote of the Day: Balancing the First Amendment With the Second

  1. No worries here. I never go to the doctor, you’re never sick until you ask a physician.

    Like my AIDS, Doc said, “you need to stop having unprotected sex.”

    And I was all like, “Psst, what does he know… I carry a G19 every weekend, so when I’m running through some strange, they won’t get the drop on me.”

    But, I’m not going to tell that Obama Care having Commie about my guns.

  2. I disagree. The fundamental assumption behind the idea that “Florida’s interest in enforcing FOPA decidedly outweighs any First Amendment right of physicians” is that the government is a better judge of what is in the interests of the patient than the doctor is. Obviously, in many instances, the doctor might legitimately disagree. After all, the government cannot possibly know the specifics of every case. Infringing on that doctor’s free speech is never all right, because a fundamental principle of this nation is that free speech allows private citizens to contradict the government without fear of punishment.

    Terrible decision.

    • To clarify my comments. My position seems to align with what Robert Farago writes here:

      http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2015/08/robert-farago/florida-firearms-owners-privacy-act-does-not-gag-doctors/

      Question: what part of that prohibits Florida doctors from asking patients whether or not they own a firearm, and recommending that they ditch their gat or store it safely? “Prohibits harassment of patient regarding firearm ownership during examination”? Maybe. That depends on what you call “harassment.” (The exact text bans “unnecessarily harassing.”) I’m thinking that asking patients about firearms safety does NOT constitute harassment. Unless it does. You?

      It’s THE critical question about the bill, signed into law and due to go into effect this year (after judicial challenges). If merely asking the question constitutes harassment then I remain opposed to this legislation. If it doesn’t, I see nothing wrong with any of the bill’s provisions. Let me be clear . . .

      I reckon doctors should be able to ask patients anything they like, from how many guns they own to whether or not they use a car seat to why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers suck. And make recommendations on gun ownership, car seat use and the best way to put the Buccaneers back in contention. If a patient is unhappy with the doctor’s questions or recommendations, the patient is free to seek alternative care.

      • Your assumption is flawed on the assumption that doctors do not hold unequal power in the doctor-patient relationship.

        A doctor can say anything they want as a private person. What they say as a doctor, however, is highly regulated because they rely on the fact that they are a doctor to lend credibility to something that may have fuckall to do with medicine. (As in this case.)

        When the doctor-patient relationship is abused, it is well within the authority of the state of Florida to come in and restrict what doctors can and cannot say in their official capacity.

        • The doctor patient relationship has been obliterated by the government, 3rd party payers, and private industry special interests groups.

    • I agree the docs should have their first amendment rights fully protected. The issue, though, is that Obamacare has completely destroyed doctor-patient confidentiality. Your medical records are now an open book. So, whatever you say when the doc asks you is federal record. Do you have guns in the house? The only answer you can give is “no.”

        • Or, “in the context of my health, how is that information important to you?” Odds are they’ll have to fess up that it’s actually pretty irrelevant. And if they admit that they’re asking for the sake of asking, you can respond with “given that the question is irrelevant, whatever answer I give you is equally irrelevant.”

          If there’s some legitimate health concern such as, “I see that your tests indicate high levels of lead exposure,” then you can explain that you work in a hazardous work environment, or you live in an old house that hasn’t been painted in over 40 years, or you shoot recreationally on a regular basis. I dunno.

          If you have reason to suspect the motives behind the question, ask your own follow-up questions until you’re satisfied. You don’t need to lie. But you do need to ensure that your doctor is genuinely looking out for your personal health, not pushing some agenda from higher on up.

        • Sorry, but an MD degree does not give you carte blanche to abuse your authority to push a political agenda. Like it or not, doctors have significant moral authority within our society. Very few people don’t accept what they say at face value. This is why doctors have some of the strictest ethical training of any profession. (Including lawyers) When said training and professional standards are insufficient to prevent doctors from abusing their authority, legal remedies are appropriate. Since the AAP has made it quite clear that they intend to abuse said authority, they should come under strict legal sanction of they proceed to do so.

        • I don’t disagree with you, pwrserge. I’m more of the stance that rather than (or maybe in addition to?) restricting doctors from including personal speech or political agendas from their professional consultations (because I’d LOVE to see how that’s going to be enforced in any other way than hindsight and after-the-fact litigation), we encourage and educate patients to think for themselves and ask their own questions.
          Unfortunately we have a culture in the US where patients watch TV, see a medical ad, self-diagnose whatever problem they think they have, and go see the doctor and tell the doctor “I need this new drug, I’ve got this problem.” And the doctor does it. And then you have doctors who are used to patients (as demonstrated by the ads/commercials example) who eat up whatever medical advice is thrown their way, and they kowtow to it. Our society loves to talk about freedom of speech and the right to bear arms, but we never talk about the freedom and right to think for yourselves and decide what’s best for yourself.
          A sad state of affairs, really.

      • pwrserge said: “Sorry, but an MD degree does not give you carte blanche to abuse your authority…”
        That’s the problem, doctors have been told that they have authority. Furthering the problem, the GOV has been told that IT has authority over doctors. Both premises are faulty and must be corrected. Doctors certainly have influence and can offer authoritative answers, but rightly should wield zero authority over my everyday life. In an emergency medical situation, where patients can’t answer questions, doctors do have certain implied authorities in regard to taking life saving action. However, in that situation, they also bear a tremendous degree of responsibility. This is the only situation in which the GOV should wield any authority over doctors, when they take emergency action without consent and it goes wrong. Otherwise, the GOV should get the hell out of medicine, period.

    • I believe it still leaves room for a doctor to ask about firearms if there are circumstances demanding of it (e.g. a suicidal person.)

      Having a “general purpose” conversation with a doctor about guns is stupid at best if you consider that cancer and heart disease outnumber firearm deaths on average ~19:1 each. Reality is the best way to avoid dying from gun violence is to get on a treadmill and skip the extra big mac.

      That said in an era of data basing there are also deep privacy concerns about having such conversations even with one’s doctor. I know that I wouldn’t want to have that conversation with some rando GP.

      • Shoot, Andrew, that is pretty mild. MALPRACTICE kills 20X as many as guns each year, going to the doctor’s office is more dangerous than a gun in the house. Shouldn’t we consider banning doctors?

    • Fine, but the problem is that a lot pediatricians know almost nothing about firearms, but then give you “professional” advice. I got into a huge (civil) argument with a friend who what a pediatrician about you should not even own firearms if you have kids or the kid will end up dead. She just keep reciting the crap the American Academy of Pediatrics spouts. I love how she lumped in the stats for 17 year old gang banger with stupid Uncle Mike who leaves his gun in the sock drawer when kids are over at his place. Yes there is a place for discussing how to safely store firearms and firearms safety training, but that is not the AAP policy. Here it is “Firearm safety education programs directed at children are ineffective. The American Academy of Pediatrics continues to support a number of specific measures to reduce the destructive effects of guns in the lives of children and adolescents, including the regulation of the manufacture, sale, purchase, ownership, and use of firearms; a ban on semiautomatic assault weapons; and the strongest possible regulations of handguns for civilian use.”

      • It is my personal experience that pediatricians talk about other subjects they have little or no knowledge on. I asked the head pediatrician at a local major hospital if she could list the preservatives and adjuvants and additives used in the Hep B and Vit K shots given to newborns in the first 24 hours of life; she was honest and replied she had no idea what was in these shots. She did supply me with the manufacturers insert so I could look up the information supplied by the manufacturer.

        • That would be because a pediatrician is a general practitioner, not a pharmacologist. Expecting them to know all the minutia of every tool they use is like expecting your plumber to know the exact steel formulation in the fittings they install. Doctors rely on recommendations from specialists as to how to employ the tools. Very rarely do they know the full details of how the tools work. That’s why medicine is a very specialized field that’s heavily reliant on things like studies, best practices, and peer review.

          For example, very few doctors know the exact chemical reactions behind how most NSAID pharmacologies work. They know the general principles, but what components of what chemical structure have what exact effect is a bit beyond their are of expertise or need to know.

        • disagree, you can’t compare tools and materials used to manufacture things with biological agents, known toxic substances being injected into people, especially newborns. not a credible comparison.

        • Who needs pharmacology degree to rebut your ignorance? You literally repeat sound bites you’ve heard on TV/Radio and scream like the leftist loonies who are trained by the media to repeat sound bites for gun control, while demanding people abdicate their rights to the government. I’ll ask you again, why do troll a subject you so little factual knowledge on?

        • I have plenty of factual knowledge. My family includes five PhDs and two M.D.s (Three of those PhDs teach at a medical school.)

          The point is that toxicity is not as simple as saying A is toxic and B is not in the vast majority of cases. Most of the “toxins” anti-vaxers rile on about either haven’t been used in medicines since the 70s or are present in such low concentrations that you get more into your bloodstream from taking a deep breath. The idea that there is some nebulous conspiracy to kill people using vaccines or the absurdity that it has some magical link to autism is just fear-mongering by people who want to blame somebody, anybody, when something bad happens.

          Much as the rabid liberals, they don’t bother to look at the actual data or numbers and just jump to unfounded conclusions. Worse, they fail to do the basic math to realize that even if they were 100% right, the negative effects are far outweighed by the massive drop in child mortality that we have seen due to modern vaccination. (When was the last time you heard of anybody in the US dying from Polio?)

          There’s a reason why most M.D.s laugh at the idea of “informed consent”. You average person is not CAPABLE of getting the education and knowledge necessary to make an informed judgement about complex courses of treatment. Thus, they are physiologically incapable of giving truly informed consent. Hell, most DOCTORS are not capable of doing so with advanced procedures outside of their area of expertise.

          That’s why medical licensing boards exist. That’s why review boards exist. Are you really going to say that your couple of hours with Google qualifies you to better judge the effects of a complex cocktail of chemicals than hundreds of doctors who have spend their entire lives studying the subject? Really?

        • “I have plenty of factual knowledge. My family includes five PhDs and two M.D.s (Three of those PhDs teach at a medical school.)” -That falls under ‘I know a guy that knows a guy category. So you personally have no training, or credentials or experience.

          “Most of the “toxins” anti-vaxers rile on about either haven’t been used in medicines since the 70s or are present in such low concentrations that you get more into your bloodstream from taking a deep breath” -Really? So are you saying formaldehyde(carcinogen), aluminum(neurotxin), phenoxyethanol(neurotoxin), Tri(n)butylphosphate(carcinogen), Glutaraldehyde, ethylene glycol, and yes mercury in multi-dose flu shots, just to name a few known carcinogenic and neuro-toxic substances found in vaccines. To my knowledge there are NO double blind, placebo controlled safety tests for injecting these known to be poisonous substances into newborns, infants, and growing children.

          “some magical link to autism is just fear-mongering by people who want to blame somebody, anybody, when something bad happens” -That is pure ignorance, repeating sound bites from the CDC which insists there is no vaccine -autism connection, but at the same time the CDC is being accused by whistle blowers for burying and destroying data showing a link between vaccines and autism. Not to mention courts have and still are awarding damages to families of autistic children from vaccines. The small handful of studies the CDC uses to refute the vaccine-autism connection are among the studies being accused of destroying data, and one of the lead authors of these studies, Dr. Thorsen, is on the OIG’s most wanted list for fraud. Not to mention ALL of these studies compare vaccinated kids to other vaccinated kids….not exactly a scientific method to determine if vaccines are causing autism. Sort of like studies comparing someone who smokes 2 packs of cigarettes/day to someone who smokes 3 packs a day and saying, hey, there is no cancer difference between these 2 groups, smoking must not cause cancer. That is exactly what these studies did. There are over 100 published, peer reviewed studies showing a vaccine-autism connection. Not to mention many of the vaccine inserts themselves list encephalopathy and/or encephalitis as a possible side effect. That’s brain damage serge.

          “Much as the rabid liberals, they don’t bother to look at the actual data or numbers and just jump to unfounded conclusions. Worse, they fail to do the basic math to realize that even if they were 100% right, the negative effects are far outweighed by the massive drop in child mortality that we have seen due to modern vaccination. (When was the last time you heard of anybody in the US dying from Polio?)” That is 100% your opinion. Useless.

          “There’s a reason why most M.D.s laugh at the idea of “informed consent”. You average person is not CAPABLE of getting the education and knowledge necessary to make an informed judgement about complex courses of treatment” This explains your egregious hypocrisy. If you believe the state and pharmaceutically trained physicians should have control over your health care, then how can you possibly argue the same public is capable of owning forearms? Don’t project your own perceived lack of capabilities on the public, if you want to abdicate your medical/healthcare decision making to the state and the pharmaceutical industry, go for it. You have no right to force others to do so, and good luck trying. BTW, are these laughing MD’s aware that they are 3rd leading cause of death the US? Glad someone thinks its entertaining. Maybe they’ll be laughing as they let themselves be pawns for information gathering and eventual firearm confiscation.

          “That’s why medical licensing boards exist. That’s why review boards exist. Are you really going to say that your couple of hours with Google qualifies you to better judge the effects of a complex cocktail of chemicals than hundreds of doctors who have spend their entire lives studying the subject? Really?” Speculation, appeal to authority propaganda technique, and OPINION.

          You got anything else Serge? Facts and science are not on your side, no matter how much you repeat the standard troll talking points.

        • @Larry….sorry you think giving the government and the pharmaceutical industry the power to force whatever products they see fit on the public as vaxcrap. And you’re worried about gun rights? What good will gun rights do you when you can be forced to receive whatever pharmaceutical intervention CEO’s and govt bureaucrats decide to force on you? No wonder this country is far gone.

        • Ok fucktard… Do you even chemistry?

          1. How much formaldehyde does the human body produce naturally, per day? (It’s a natural byproduct of DNA synthesis.)
          2. How much formaldehyde is in an average vaccine dose?

          Answers?
          1. 500 mg in an average 180lb human
          2. 0.1 mg in an average injection

          I can debunk your other “carcinogen” bullshit using the same math. The amounts are either so small as to be medically irrelevant or are chemically inert because they are components of chemicals. Mercury is my favorite example. While pure, un-reacted mercury is toxic, you can eat a spoonful of mercury based preservatives and be just fine. The mercury in chemically inert.

          Any other anti-vaxer bullshit I can demolish for you?

        • “fucktard”? Guess that’s the appropriate empty ad hominem response when trying to save face after your post was just 100% obliterated. You lost serge.

        • Keep ignoring how your formaldehyde bullshit was blown out of the water. Do us all a favor and ragequit life. Your kids will be far better off once you’re room temperature and they can get proper medical treatment.

        • The funny thing is you pick the ONE thing you think might get you some traction/credibility with, while ignoring all other information. When you post the double blind, placebo controlled safety tests for injecting the vaccine ingredients including the adjuvants, preservatives, additives, then we resume this. Until then your opinions and speculations are as meaningless as the vaccine studies comparing vaccinated kids to other vaccinated kids. And consider some calm me down drugs….the laughing MD’s who know what’s best for you(except when it comes to guns?) would likely prescribe it if they saw your tantrums here.

        • Yeah… I can go on forever. See my mercury example.

          The mercury in chemical preservatives is not the same mercury you licked out of a florescent bulb as a kid. It is chemical bonded and thus inert.

          But let’s go take a look at Japan, where they stopped giving the MMR vaccine for over a decade (the one you nutjobs claim causes autism) and saw the rate of autism continue to grow.

        • If you put 10 vaccines on posts at 643 yards, will you be able to shoot them off more quickly with a Ruger or a Remington?

        • Read “The Dose Makes The Poison” and draw your one conclusions. The human body tolerates small amounts of poisons with no effects, while larger doses can cause issues. Medications for cancer chemotherapy make one very ill, yet are life saving.

          Electronic medical records will stay with you forever. Never admit to something that could become illegal in the future. Just as the Government classifies what it feels you should not know, hide what you don’t feel comfortable about our government knowing about you.

        • Serge, show me where I posted MMR is the cause of autism, or even the only cause? I didn’t, you are making shit up again. Is this your MO? Make shit up, throw around a few ad hominems and repeat Internet troll lines hoping no one calls your bluff? Did you know the 14 studies the CDC used to allegedly refute the vaccine-autism link ONLY looked at the MMR vaccine? No other shot combination of shots were examined. These same 14 studies are the ones I referenced earlier, authored by one of the OIGs most wanted for FRAUD, the same studies whistblowrrs are saying data connecting MMR to autism was buried and shredded, and the same studies that compared vaccinated Kiids to other vaccinated kids. Serge you’re full of shit, you can pretend that you are informed on this issue all you want, but you’ll only fool people who are very ignorant on this and can’t call your ridiculous bluffs.

        • @rick in NH, the dose makes the poison makes very old assumptions, the theory is now being challenged and evidence with studies are showing these old assumptions to be false. And you’re wrong on chemo, very, very wrong.

  3. If it is actually related to a patient then go ahead and ask but I don’t know why it would be. However it should be law that they cannot record the answer to the question. I still don’t see why a doctor would need to ask about firearm ownership though especially since I doubt they learn about guns at med school.

    • “I see indications of high levels of lead exposure in your blood tests. Would you, by chance, happen to own or shoot guns on a regular basis?”

      • The first question a competent clinician would ask is how old is the house the person lives in, and do they know if it contains lead paint. Asking about shooting is not near the top, and any time compromised, competent clinician would not likely have the time to ask that question.

      • I’d think that would be a vanishingly small problem. 50 years ago most bullets were bare lead, that I ever ran into. Now it is rare to find a non-jacketed bullet, lead from shooting sports should have all but disappeared.

        • The major source of lead exposure in shooting is not bullet metal, but the lead stypnate in primer smoke, and that hasn’t changed.

  4. ……and 10,000 TTAG readers are collectively nodding and muttering under their breath “I believe in the First Amendment, but…..”

    Where exactly is the “special kind of speech” exception to the 1A? Is it in the fine print or the appendix where one finds the “scary black rifle” exception to the 2A?

    • The speech provisions of the 1st amendment, as written by the founding fathers, addresses (guarantees) POLITICAL speech. Nothing else more recently invented by the damn progressives.

    • Simple. There is a difference between free speech and professional speech.

      A lawyer is allowed to say whatever they want as a private citizen. When they speak as a member of the bar, their speech is highly restricted. The absolute same thing should apply to doctors.

  5. The founding fathers already balanced them. Neither is in conflict with the other. It’s only when idiotic politicians in modern times make idiotic laws that the two come into conflict.

    • Not true. Free speech protections have never applied to professional speech when said speech is held to a higher standard. A 18th century barrister had their professional speech highly restricted due to the nature of their work. The same should apply to doctors. The 1st amendment is not a defense against quackery or abuse of authority.

      • Lol, “quackery” is a highly subjective term, depending on who’s using it and in what context, and you believe constitutional rights are limited by vague, subjective restrictions?

        • No, I think that there is a bright line between rights granted to an individual in their private function as a citizen and their professional capacity.

          Or do you think a lawyer should be allowed to present blatant lies to the court without consequences?

        • There are rights, and there are privileges. A professional remains a private citizen regardless of his/her profession. A lawyer lying in court is a criminal matter, not a 1st amendment issue. At the same time, an accountant could generate a fraudulent tax return for a client, and the only criminal liability is on the client, not the accountant.

        • No, I think that there is a bright line between rights granted to an individual in their private function as a citizen and their professional capacity.

          Just a nitpick, but remember that rights like free speech, keeping and bearing of arms, etc…are natural rights, not granted by anything human.

        • First off, somebody needs to look at a return, a paid preparer *DOES* sign the return. Normally the entire return is based on info provided by the client, the preparer is not held accountable for the truth of the info submitted to him.

  6. The entire problem here is that the medical industry seems to feel as though they are responsible for our health; they are not, we are. From that stems the “I know more than you and you must take my advice” attitude. My doctor works for me, not the other way around. If I have to wait more than 30 minutes for an appointment I walk out and inform them I will not pay any fee. I don’t pay on my way in, I pay on my way out. If I didn’t get the service I needed I don’t pay. I don’t sign my life history away on forms. If I don’t want them sharing information, I don’t sign. If they say I have to sign, I walk out. To me, doctors are like car mechanics. I tell them what is going wrong and expect them to fix the problem. No fixee, no payee.

  7. While I am generally on board with DRGO, this little bit of business irks me:

    “…when a doctor is talking professionally to her patient…”

    The standard guide for English, at least when I was learning such and studying creative writing, is that when people in general are referred to the masculine pronoun is all inclusive, as is the term mankind used to include women as well. This politically correct business of occasionally referring to a general population by alternating the masculine and feminine pronouns is politically correct crap.

    End rant.

  8. would you honestly tell them you own guns, especially if you are Veteran with PTSD, or any TBI {concussion} etc. or maybe the Dr. is a rabid Anti-American type {Indian, Iranian, Muslim, British}
    Besides its non of their Business, asking my children is the same too me as being approached by a Pedophile and will be handled accordingly! yes I own a sling shot, a bow and arrow, and a 45 year old BB gun Period

  9. A government that tells doctors what they can say to patients is the same kind of government that tells citizens what kinds of guns they can own. Both have the disgusting stench of fascism.

    We would all be better off if the government would stay the hell out of both doctor’s offices and my gun safe.

    Florida’s FOPA law is an example of conservatives taking a page from the progressive playbook, using the government as a bully to get people to behave the way the government wants.

    Honestly, there are better solutions to nosy doctors asking questions not related to the health of their patients. If a doctor asked me about guns in the house, my questions in response would shame him into realizing he’s not qualified to give advice on the subject.

    • That’s fine for you. Most people would swallow the “official line” if it’s fed to them by their doctor. This is a clear abuse of their professional capacity and, as such, is properly subject to legal consequences the same way as a lawyer who uses their position to lie to the court.

      • “Most people would swallow the “official line” if it’s fed to them by their doctor”–Nail on the head serge, exactly as in the case with childhood vaccines.

        • Ok… We’re not going to have the anti-vaxer conversation again. Your position is full of shit and is not supported by any science or logic. You have no idea what you’re talking about. Deal with it.

        • lol, you throw empty hominems, insults, then try to escape before being exposed as compleltly ignorant on the subject. That’s fine, no surprises here.

      • Your charmingly naive belief that government bureaucrats are a better judge of your self-interest than yourself or your doctor really needs some reconsideration.

        Need I remind you that BATFE agents are good representatives of the phrase “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.”

        • Here’s the rub. The only role government serves in this case is to keep the doctor’s conversations limited, not to dictate what they say. It’s a rather critical difference.

          It’s not a job of the government telling the doctor what’s “best”. It’s a case of the government preventing the doctor from abusing his authority in areas that have nothing to do with medicine.

        • Serge,

          I have a friend with rapidly declining health, can barely walk, multiple issues that would normally affect an 80-yr-old man, but he’s only in his sixties. Multiple doctors really can’t figure out why he’s going downhill so fast.

          Oh yeah, and he’s also a Vietnam War vet who was exposed to Agent Orange.

          Now imagine a government that doesn’t want to admit, or take responsibility for, the consequences of exposing soldiers to the above mentioned chemical. How would they cover that up? Well, the first thing they would do is prevent doctors from asking questions about his prior military service that could tie his symptoms to Agent Orange exposure.

          This is what bothers me about government restrictions on what doctors can ask/say within the privacy of the doctor/patient relationship.

        • That’s not the same thing and you know it. Pushing a political agenda is not the same thing as asking medically relevant questions. There is no way in hell an ethics board will hold that asking your patient if they own guns out of the blue is medically relevant. If they do so anyway then legal remedies are appropriate.

        • Serge, answer this….you’re talking about taking relevant medical histories….how do you justify a 12 year old kid going to the ER for a sprained, possibly fractured ankle while playing soccer and being grilled about their vaccination records?

        • Simple, many diseases have the initial onset symptoms indistinguishable from light muscle sprains. The job of a doctor is to eliminate the things that can kill you before they start treating what looks obvious.

          The simplest method to eliminate, these diseases is to ask if you were vaccinated against them. It may not reduce the probability to zero, but it reduces it by orders of magnitude.

          Let’s take an example. Somebody goes into the ER with what looks like a severe muscle strain in their neck. The doctor fails to ask about vaccinations for a little thing called tetanus. They prescribe a local steroid injection to reduce the inflammation. Ooops, patient is dead.

        • When I was a kid, that 12-year-old wouldn’t have been asked anything, if his vaccinations were in question he would have been given all of them again. I think I got one or another polio vaccine around 6 times, the last time when I entered the military, in the course of getting everything again.

  10. There are valid reasons to discuss firearms in a medical settings. If a person bruises easily, their doctor may want to recommend avoiding or limiting exposure to high recoil shoulder fired rifles. .50 BMG comes to mind.

    Hearing protection is also an important health related topic. I’ve never had my doctor talk to me about safe storage of household chemicals, so safe storage of firearms would be crossing the line for me.

    • That’s the real reason, I believe, why we need to serve the so-called medical profession with a dose of reality. Of all the types of accidental child deaths, firearms is WAY down on the list. But they don’t ask about drug storage, chemical storage, electrical outlets, stairways or swimming pools. So when they ask about guns, their statist political agenda is revealed in all its ugliness.

      Doctors enjoy a certain amount of trust and respect, intrinsic to the relationship, and this is an obvious abuse of that trust to further a political agenda.

      • Firearms is way, way down that list, probably about a mile below malpractice, that would be time to save yourself by leaving the office. Without paying.

  11. The Doctor should be free to ask just as I should be equally free to not answer.

    The problem is less with the Doctors asking and more about the fact that they write it down. And once written down it is now available to the insurance company. And you probably didn’t read all the forms they gave you when you signed up so you missed the part where you authorized them to use any and all parts of your medical record for pretty much anything they want except selling your information to third-party marketing firms.

    The problem is compounded by Doctors that accept Medicare or Medicaid or any of the myriad other government supported insurance programs. Those Doctors have to use, or will have to shortly depending on your State, Electronic Medical Records. That means everything the Doctor writes down is now available to the Government in a nice digital form. In other words, a nice big medical database. With a nice little checkbox somewhere that says Yes next to a field called firearms in the home.

    To be sure the part of Government that has access to your Doctors notes isn’t the same part of the Government that is looking at what kinds of guns you may have but it is all in a database somewhere. At once in a database it is only a matter of time before some enterprising young IT person finds a way to tie that agencies data together with this agencies data and then suddenly lookitthat! we just made a kind of gun registry!

  12. If we have any GPs in the comments section, what is the medical value in knowing the patient is a gun owner? If they are suicidal or otherwise mentally ill and confer this information to you, does their ownership of guns change your professional response in any way?

  13. It comes down to trust. We don’t trust doctors when they range anywhere outside of their field. Frankly, we shouldn’t trust them inside their field either.

    With 400,000 people killed or severely injured every year by medical mistakes, doctor should just STFU about guns and focus their attention on bad actors and bad practices in their own profession.

    Of course, the AMA disagrees. It’s the classic misdirection play. As long as we’re talking about guns, we’re not talking about medical malpractice.

  14. I would answer ‘no’ to the question about firearms in the house.

    We have 2 kids and go to the doctor quite a lot, I have never seen that question asked either in person or on a form. My opinion is that it is none of the doctors business, they don’t ask if you have a swimming pool, trampoline or a kitchen cupboard full of chemicals.

    If a doctor asked, I would really want to turn things around and bring up the 250-400k deaths caused every year by medical negligence/malpractice but in reality that wouldn’t achieve anything so I would stay quiet!

  15. I unfortunately see two doctors on a regular bases for different physical reasons. They are both excellent doctors that took some time to find. Doctors and nurses can ask me whatever they would like. And I will answer however I would like let it be the truth, a lie or a redirect.

  16. As a medical doctor I will say that doctors have no special training or expertise in regards to firearms
    Even doctors like me and the rest of my department who are all a group of ” gun enthusiasts”
    The only valid reason a doctor would have to ask you about guns is if you answer yes to the government mandated question about suicide
    The consensus among doctors is that patients who ask about proper gun storage or safety is to refer them to an NRA certified instructor who acrually knows about these topics
    The American Acadamy of Pedistrics has an anti gun agenda
    They do not represent the views of the rest of us phsicians

  17. The First Amendment is protection against infringement by *congress* (Congress shall make no law). The Second Amendment is protection against infringement. Period. By anyone. That’s why there are two of them, instead of RKBA being included in the First!

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