Skip to comments.Bill would bar doctors from asking about guns POLL TO FREEP AT LINK
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."
THE POLL TO DATE:
Should the state disallow pediatricians from asking parents about gun ownership?
Undecided 1.88% Total: 800 votes
Reach Janette Rodrigues at (757) 222-5208 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2006 HamptonRoads.com/PilotOnline.com
"Excuse me while I whip this out."
Should the state disallow pediatricians from asking parents about gun ownership?
You've taught her well!
I always just say no. But if they're asking kids that's different.
The only time I was asked this question, I refused to answer it. I later saw the doctor's checklist, and she had marked "Yes". Why she needed that on record-especially because it was already established that I DON'T have kids-I can only imagine.
And here I thought the left cared about privacy.
Didn't realize Red Riders are still being made. Thanks for the info.
Shoulder holster? (;o)
PHYSICIAN OR EDUCATOR QUALIFICATIONS AND LIABILITY
FIREARMS SAFETY COUNSELING REPRESENTATION:
PHYSICIAN QUALIFICATIONS AND LIABILITY
Part One: Qualifications
I affirm that I am certified to offer
(Name of Patient:__________________________________________________ ),
herineafter referred to as "the Patient", qualified advice about firearms safety in the home, having received:
Specify Course(s) of Study:
Specify Course Completion Date(s):
______________________________________________________ resulting in:
Specify Accreditation(s), Certification(s), License(s) etc.:
Check one, as appropriate:
___ I represent that I have reviewed applicable scientific literature pertaining to defensive gun use and beneficial results of private firearms ownership. I further represent that I have reviewed all other relevant home safety issues with the Patient, including those relating to electricity, drains, disposals, compactors, garage doors, driveway safety, pool safety, pool fence codes and special locks for pool gates, auto safety, gas, broken glass, stored cleaning chemicals, buckets, toilets, sharp objects, garden tools, home tools, power tools, lawnmowers, lawn chemicals, scissors, needles, forks, knives, etc. I also acknowledge, by receiving this document, I have been made aware that, in his inaugural address before the American Medical Association on June 20, 2001, new president Richard Corlin, MD, admitted "What we don't know about violence and guns is literally killing us...researchers do not have the data to tell how kids get guns, if trigger locks work, what the warning signs of violence in schools and at the workplace are and other critical questions due to lack of research funding." (UPI). In spite of this admission, I represent that I have sufficient data and expertise to provide expert and clinically sound advice to patients regarding firearms in the home.
___ I am knowingly engaging in Home/Firearms Safety Counseling without certification, license or formal training in Risk Management, and; I have not reviewed applicable scientific literature pertaining to defensive gun use and beneficial results of private firearms ownership.
I have determined, from a review of my medical malpractice insurance, that if I engage in an activity for which I am not certified, such as Firearms Safety Counseling, the carrier (check one, as appropriate):
___ will not
cover lawsuits resulting from neglect, lack of qualification, etc.
Insurance Carrier name, address and policy number insuring me for firearms safety expertise:
I further warrant that, should the Patient follow my firearm safety counseling and remove from the home and/or disable firearms with trigger locks or other mechanisms, and if the patient or a family member, friend or visitor is subsequently injured or killed as a result of said removal or disabling, that my malpractice insurance and/or personal assets will cover all actual and punitive damages resulting from a lawsuit initiated by the patient, the patient's legal reprerentative, or the patient's survivors.
Signature of attesting physician and date:
Name of attesting physician (please print):
Signature of patient and date:
Name of patient (please print):
Note to patient: Indicate if physician "REFUSED TO SIGN." Ask physician to place copy in chart/medical record.
Risk Management Advice to Physicians and Malpractice Insurance Providers: Don't Borrow Trouble
© 2000 by Joe Horn email@example.com
Then change doctors, tell them why and make a report to the Medical association saying they have included knowingly false information in your file.
While at the doctor with my daughter, we got the form asking about guns.I threw the form in the trash. The receptionist noted that I didn't have the form and went to pull another one. I said "I'll throw that one away.too". She looked at me like I had two heads. "Why won't you fill out the form?" "Because its none of your business. We're here for a vaccination".
A few years later, I had my teenage son in for an ingrown toenail. He was old enough to fill in his own forms. He would make funny noises while filling out a form. When the doc came in to remove his toenail, he asked him "What does all this stuff have to do with my toe?" The guy looked at the form, smiled, then slipped it in the trash.
I'm glad my kids' pediatrician is a conservative and my personal doctor has hunting magazines in the waiting room. If your doctor is a gun banning lib, get another doctor. (I know, when your kid is sick that, interviewing a doctor is a low priority).
As much as I despise gun control laws, I don't see a problem with this. The doctors aren't trying to be politically corect gun grabbers. They want to help parents to be aware of fire arms safety so the doctor doesn't have to work on the kids in the ER because someone wasn't practicing good fire arms safety in their home. Most people are responsible, but some may be ignorant things that would reduce the likelihood of their kids getting hurt by accident. The doctors are only trying to prevent harm and aren't out to take away anyone's guns. It's like asking if the cleaning chemicals are safely stored or if perscription medication is sitting out in the open where little kids might get a hold of it. Things like that.
I'll take my safety counseling on firearms from the NRA, not the AMA - thank you very much.
Nah, get her an actual spring piston pellet rifle, maybe a Gamo. My dad got me one when I was six, and when I asked him, why a air rifle, why not a bb gun, he told me, "Dan, if you're gonna learn to shoot, you might as well be able to hit what you shoot at." If you're going to teach your kids to shoot, get them an accurate gun.
Then maybe the doctors should reviiew gun safety with every patient on every visit. THat way, the doctors don't need ask and just provide information to specific patients. Everyone can hear the speel and make a 5 min visit into 15.
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