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Bill would bar doctors from asking about guns POLL TO FREEP AT LINK
The Virginian-Pilot ^ | February 23, 2006 | By JANETTE RODRIGUES,

Posted on 02/23/2006 6:47:11 AM PST by SWO

CHESAPEAKE - A pediatrician who asks a child's parent about firearms in their home could lose his or her license or be disciplined under legislation being considered by a Senate committee today.

The bill would prohibit health care professionals from asking a patient about gun possession, ownership or storage unless the patient is being treated for an injury related to guns or asks for safety counseling about them.

Sponsored by Del. Ward Armstrong, D-Martinsville, the bill sailed through the House by a vote of 88 to 11 last week. A message seeking comment was left for the delegate; he did not return the call.

The legislation is opposed by The Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics because it blocks a common practice by medical professionals to inquire about gun ownership and safety when they go over a safety checklist with parents during a child's regular checkups from birth to puberty.

"We saw the bill but presumed no one in their right mind would put it through," said Dr. Leslie Ellwood, chapter president. "We thought it was such an unusual bill that anyone with common sense wouldn't pass it."

The national group is closely watching the bill now.

Some local medical professionals are incensed by the bill and the rapid way it is moving through the General Assembly.

The bill also is opposed by several medical groups, including The Medic al Society of Virginia and nurse associations.

The National Rifle Association supports the bill because it will protect gun owners "from intrusive, unnecessary questions from medical professionals," according to the NRA Institute for Legislative Action Web site.

"We don't have an opinion or issue an opinion on guns," Ellwood said. "We don't say it is a bad thing to have around children. Our plan is always to find out how the guns are managed in the household so they are safe."

The national pediatric group puts out a guide on safety counseling for pediatricians under its injury prevention program.

The state-endorsed guidelines are used by not just doctors and nurses but by others whose jobs involve children.

Medical professionals are encouraged to use the routine safety survey to counsel parents about everything from car safety seats and child-proofing a house and backyard pool to bicycle helmets and fire safety once the child reaches the appropriate age.

Pediatricians use the checklist to curtail preventable injuries, such as poisoning by household cleaning products, not to be intrusive, say Virginia physicians.

"The bill hits at the heart and core of prevention and protecting our children," said Dr. Nancy Welch, Chesapeake Health Department director. "I am just amazed that it has gone this far and seems to be flying under the radar."

A board-certified pediatrician, Welch e-mailed three committee members from the South Hampton Roads delegation after being notified about the Senate committee meeting today.

Sen. Harry Blevins, R-Chesapeake, has a policy of giving each bill a fair hearing before commenting on it, said his legislative assistant, Karen Papasodora-Cochrane.

Sen. Frederick Quayle, R-Chesapeake could not be reached for comment.

Sen. L. Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth, said she thinks it's a bad bill.

"I don't know how it even got out of the House because a person who is practicing the healing arts, if they really have a child's safety in mind, would ask that question and others," she said.

If parents think the question is intrusive, Lucas said they can always tell the health care provider: "It's none of your business."


Should the state disallow pediatricians from asking parents about gun ownership?

Yes 49.25%

No 48.88%

Undecided 1.88% Total: 800 votes

Reach Janette Rodrigues at (757) 222-5208 or

© 2006

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: bang; banglist; bigbrother; freep; gungrabbers; poll; surveillance; vageneralassembly; virginia
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To: Smokin' Joe
It is about a question being asked and the answer recorded in what is a permanent file which follows you everywhere.

So long as answering the question is voluntary, there is no problem. None at all.

121 posted on 02/23/2006 10:47:18 AM PST by Melas (What!? Read or learn something? Why would anyone do that, when they can just go on being stupid)
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To: Melas

If you refuse to answer, and the doctor records that as a "yes", then you have participated. (Otherwise, why refuse? Not answering is an answer.) There is no voluntary participation once you are asked.

122 posted on 02/23/2006 10:54:37 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
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To: Melas
you want the absolute most competent professional present, and politics doesn't make good doctors.

There are exceptions, of course. This situation would certainly put politics at the bottom of my list. But when someone is in a scientific career and they are in the "guns are bad" group, then the linearity of their thought process probably ought to be considered. FRegards

123 posted on 02/23/2006 11:21:36 AM PST by kerryusama04 (The Bill of Rights is not occupation specific.)
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To: Smokin' Joe

If that is the case, lie.

124 posted on 02/23/2006 11:47:52 AM PST by Galveston Grl (Getting angry and abandoning power to the Democrats is not a choice.)
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Just got rid of a doc who passes out brochures to his prospective patients..that states...'handguns' are a health hazard..

125 posted on 02/23/2006 11:55:33 AM PST by joesnuffy (A camel once bit our sister..but we knew just what to do...we gathered rocks and squashed her!)
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To: Hildy

The ONLY reason for asking that, is the doctor is acting in colusion with a burglary ring looking for high value targets.

126 posted on 02/23/2006 11:59:09 AM PST by stumpy
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To: Steve_Seattle

Our pediatrician sent home a brochure suggesting you should lock your guns up along with other safety advice. I have no problem with that, but I remember they were thinking about pulling the kids aside from their parents to ask them that question, with which I have a total problem.

127 posted on 02/23/2006 12:06:09 PM PST by stevio (Red-Blooded American Male (NRA))
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A private doctor should ask his patients about potenially hazardous activities without the government interfering, including but not limited to gun ownership and homosexuality.

128 posted on 02/23/2006 12:40:08 PM PST by jamesm51
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To: Squint

We gave our granddaughter a pink Cricket for her ninth birthday. She loves it. It's too little for her now. She's ready for the Marlin.

I don't know why Coach Blevins is keeping quiet on this one, we use to go to school with shotguns in our pickup trucks. He was the football coach and became principal.

129 posted on 02/23/2006 12:41:41 PM PST by songbird51 (Second Amendment Sisters)
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To: Squint

Why?? My 8 year old grandson got a Savage .17 cal HMR bolt action for Christmas and has become very proficient with it. He can knock a chigger off a ripe apple at 100 yards!!!!!!!!!!!!!

130 posted on 02/23/2006 12:46:24 PM PST by cajun-jack
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Pediatricians use the checklist to curtail preventable injuries, such as poisoning by household cleaning products, not to be intrusive, say Virginia physicians.

They can counsel safety without asking for information.

There is a vast difference in invasivness between, "do you have guns in your home;" and, "if you have a gun in your home, safe storage and a trigger lock could prevent Little Johnnie from accidentally shooting someone."

Yes 52.51%
No 45.14%
Undecided 2.35%
Total: 2295 votes

131 posted on 02/23/2006 12:47:33 PM PST by ApplegateRanch (Mohamophages of the world, unite!)
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To: Condor51; doc30; SWO
However, it's a good thing the Doc didn't ask about Samurai Swords, 'Ninja' and assorted edged weapons, as our S-I-L has a boat load of those. To paraphrase Beatrix Kiddo (the Bride) in Kill Bill Vol 2,

THIS rather puts the lie to it in a nutshell.

People are much more likely to be cut or stabbed, than shot; EVERY household has them; and, typically, knives (steak, kitchen, pocket, etc) are treated & secured in a much more blase fashion than guns.

It isn't "only about safety"; nor does the answer, if any, warrent being recored in the patient record.

132 posted on 02/23/2006 1:15:26 PM PST by ApplegateRanch (Mohamophages of the world, unite!)
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To: doc30
Even so, do you believe the government should restrict someone's first amendment rights like this?

Considering that the doctor is seen as an authroity figure;

Considering that it is easy for the doc to make the patient feel intimidated;

Considering that the question can be asked of the child out of the parent's hearing;

Considering that the answer goes into permanent patient records:

Then, yes; it is warrented.

The practice of medicine is a state regulated, state licensed PRIVELEGE that gives the state the right to restrict the power & scope of practice.

If you want to practice public safety or public health, get out of G.P./F.P./Peds, and practice in the appropriate specialty area where this would be legitimate.

Now, if you want to ask about guns over coffee and donuts on YOUR time, then it is not the state's business.

133 posted on 02/23/2006 1:29:19 PM PST by ApplegateRanch (Mohamophages of the world, unite!)
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To: ApplegateRanch

Best answer on the thread---BRAVO!

134 posted on 02/23/2006 1:52:00 PM PST by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel)
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To: GovernmentShrinker; ridesthemiles
But of course, this shouldn't apply to a family which keeps a few horses for pleasure riding.

Unfortunately ridesthemiles is not exaggerating; it does.

EVERY "animal premises" is to be registered. It applies to any property on which there is "kept, maintained, cared for...etc." any fowl, poultry (which includes rabbits) equines, ungulates, exotic, etc, etc, with either a single or double toed hoof....

Also covered are fish. Have a farm pond with trout or catfish? Have to register.

If you have a single pet pot bellied pig; a child's pony; a pet duck; a pet rabbit; even Granny's laying hen, means the premises must be registered. No exceptions, no excuses.

Every time the 4-H kid takes an animal to the county fair, I understand, there is a piece of paper to be filed, for a fee, and then filed again to return home. EVERY time ANY animal (so far, pet dogs & cats are not covered) enters or leaves the property for any reason, it must be recorded.

It is a federal mandate, with each state enacting enabling legislation; and, I have have heard, all at the instigation of UN NGO's. There are many threads about it, and several FReepers much more knowledgeable about it than I am.

135 posted on 02/23/2006 2:10:31 PM PST by ApplegateRanch (Mohamophages of the world, unite!)
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To: ApplegateRanch; ridesthemiles

Where is this happening? I haven't heard a peep about it.

136 posted on 02/23/2006 2:31:02 PM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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To: Smokin' Joe
Which is why even incorrect medical entries are assumed to be correct.

Worked with an nurses aid once, who had figured out that the corollary to, "if you didn't chart it, you didn't do it," was "if I chart it, then I did do it."

Not sure how long it had gone on, but it was probably quite a while. The downfall was the dead patient at breakfast time, who supposedly was 'warm dry, and comfortable' and had a perfectly normal set of vital signs recorded less than 2 hours before, yet had been dead for several hours.

No telling whose, or how many other, records were screwed up, nor to what extent, and that was just ONE person.

Other than losing their job & certification, I don't know what, if anything, came of it.

137 posted on 02/23/2006 2:43:52 PM PST by ApplegateRanch (Mohamophages of the world, unite!)
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To: doc30

>The doctors aren't trying to be politically corect gun grabbers.

You are wrong here. I read the safty sheet from APA handed out with the survey. It had anti-gun lies in it trying to trick people into thinking guns are more likely to do harm then do good. The "factoid" didn't even make sense. I was something along the lines of a gun is 'More likely to hurt a loved one than kill an intruder' (When the relevant statistic SHOULD be 'hurt a loved one vs. protect a loved one.') Maybe someone saw it and can quote it. It was really an amazingly irrational factoid.

138 posted on 02/23/2006 2:55:24 PM PST by On the Road to Serfdom
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To: GovernmentShrinker; Calpernia
Where is this happening? I haven't heard a peep about it.

A few days ago, there was a vote to postpone in Texas. Calpernia is the really knowledgeable FReeper on this.

Our SD legislature has worked on it, as IIRC, MN & WI among others have.

So far, and they are quick to say "for now" it is 'voluntary', they do have enforcement powers tacked on if enough don't 'volunteer'.

Here is a current thread that can be a starting point.

139 posted on 02/23/2006 3:05:56 PM PST by ApplegateRanch (Mohamophages of the world, unite!)
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To: ApplegateRanch; ridesthemiles

Frankly, this appears to me to be just another scare story spread by organizations with hidden agendas. I see nothing to indicate that any state or federal law has been passed, much less implemented, that would require families with a pet duck or bunny to register and have their "premises" subject to inspection. And if any pending legislation is worded in such a way that it could be interpreted as requiring that, it will no doubt be revised before having a snowball's chance in hell of passing.

A couple of years ago, another scare campaign like this was in full swing, spreading around internet pet-health message boards and e-mail groups like wildfire. The claim went along the lines: "There's this horrible law that was drafted by the American Veterinary Medical Association that about to be passed in many states, that would make it illegal for anyone who is not a licensed veterinarian to treat an animal or even give advice on treating an animal. Those of us who want to get holistic therapy for our pets, or reiki, or . . . . would just be out of luck because all the practitioners would be legally barred from helping us. Farmers would be breaking the law if they treated any common condition that they've been treating themselves for centuries. This law would even make message boards like this one illegal!"

The facts? The draft legislation was intended to be incorporated in states' professional licensing statutes, all of which limit the restrictions to people who are taking money for performing whatever activities are deemed to require a license. No information-sharing message boards would be illegal, farmers would be perfectly free to go on doing what they've always done, and there were liberal exceptions (as in the current laws) for non-veterinarians such as farmhands and animal shelter workers to perform procedures and administer medications under the very general "supervision" of a veterinarian (meaning if the farmer has the vet out once a year or so, and says I'm doing X, Y, and Z like I always have, and the vet says fine, then the farmer is free to continue all these treatments and medications, including castrating piglets, adminstering vaccinations, and all the rest). The scare campaign was originating with self-styled for-profit practitioners of all sorts of new-agey "treatments" for pets, who often discouraged their clients from seeking any real veterinary care. The increasing popularity of these "treatments" and increasing frequency of vets seeing animals brought in who had been suffering through the "treatments" while not getting proper diagnosis and treatment for what would have been easily treatable conditions if they'd been addressed in time, prompted the AVMA to draft some model legislation designed to crack down on these businesses. The "I can cure your cat's kidney disease with aromatherapy for just $50 a session" crowd fought back hard.

Let me know the first time anyone gets an actual legal notice that they have to register their home as an "animal operation" and register their kid's pet duck and let the instpectors in, and I'll join the bandwagon. But I'm not holding my breath. State and federal legislators have kids with pet ducks and bunnies, and know people who do, and remember having them as kids themselves, and they're also really fond of getting re-elected.

140 posted on 02/23/2006 3:38:51 PM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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