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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."

THE POLL TO DATE:

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 janette.rodrigues@pilotonline.com.

© 2006 HamptonRoads.com/PilotOnline.com


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: Wonder Warthog
Since the origin of the question was with an anti-gun physicians group, they ARE "being politically incorrect", or accomplices to that. If ANY physician ever asks me that question, I will tell them it's none of their damned business, immediately leave their office, and find another practicioner.

Even so, do you believe the government should restrict someone's first amendment rights like this? If they can do that, then they can restrict your second amendment rights as well. And your choice to walk away from a physician who ask such a question is exactly what people should do if they don't like it. They should not be going to the government for censorship.

61 posted on 02/23/2006 8:23:49 AM PST by doc30 (Democrats are to morals what and Etch-A-Sketch is to Art.)
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To: doc30
If he asks "Do you have guns?" and you say yes so he gives you a gun safety brochure, that's one thing. On the other hand if he marks it in his records for future reference by any insurance company or government official who digs through them, that's something else entirely.

When will the NRA be able to prescribe extra strength hydrocortisone for people who have itchy trigger fingers?

62 posted on 02/23/2006 8:25:46 AM PST by KarlInOhio (Next Olympics I want wide track bobsledding. Four sleds on the track at once - like Ben Hur on ice.)
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To: Potowmack

Government is involved. Once you answer the question, it is in your medical records. If insurance companies decide to look, it will be there. If government decides to look there, see Rush's case, they will.

Doctors have NO legitimate reason for asking this question as a screen. It is what is is known as a boundary violation. They can be taken to task for asking it. They do not have any expertise in the area and are unqualified (with some exceptions unrelated to their medical education) in the area to boot.

Robert Paulsen's post says it all!!!

DK


63 posted on 02/23/2006 8:28:41 AM PST by Dark Knight
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To: SWO
Freeped.

Currently, it's:

51.5% in favor of banning pediatricians from asking gun questions
46.4% against
2.0% undecided


64 posted on 02/23/2006 8:29:49 AM PST by TChris ("Unless you act, you're going to lose your world." - Mark Steyn)
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To: SWO
"...Our plan is always to find out how the guns are managed in the household so they are safe."

And this is any of your @&#* business because...?

65 posted on 02/23/2006 8:31:21 AM PST by TChris ("Unless you act, you're going to lose your world." - Mark Steyn)
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To: Dark Knight
Government is involved. Once you answer the question, it is in your medical records.

So don't answer the question.

66 posted on 02/23/2006 8:31:29 AM PST by Potowmack ("Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government")
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To: skinkinthegrass

"Hunting for Fido? :^) "

I call pics like that "Scenes from the feline revolution"

They're out to get us, I tell ya!


67 posted on 02/23/2006 8:34:03 AM PST by dynachrome ("Where am I? Where am I going? Why am I in a handbasket?")
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To: doc30

I agree with you that doctors should never be banned from saying anything by law. Patients, on the other hand, should not cooperate with doctors becomming nosey nannies. And whatever a patient tells the doctor, they should know it will most likely become a part of a computer system available for others to tap into and use against the patient's best interests.


68 posted on 02/23/2006 8:36:27 AM PST by Galveston Grl (Getting angry and abandoning power to the Democrats is not a choice.)
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To: lakeman

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."

in otherwords we just want to control what you have in your home. ""

Same thing we are being told about the NAIS animal registration:
"We are just trying to keep diseases out of the food chain..".
Since we don't eat dogs, cats, and horses and many other pets in this country, why do we need this? They also make you "register" your property as an animal location, which means they can come onto your property at any time without notice or reason and "check" on the welfare of your animals and see that you are taking care of them "properly".

I won't comply. Neither should you.


69 posted on 02/23/2006 8:38:08 AM PST by ridesthemiles
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To: Hildy
I always lie on these stupid forms. Last time they handed me one I said to her, "You know I always lie on these things." She just smiled at me.

So, no, no guns in my house and I *always* wear a bicycle helmet.

70 posted on 02/23/2006 8:39:41 AM PST by VeniVidiVici (What? Me worry?)
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To: jboot

Because to the questioning physician "why is that any of your business?" equals "Yes I do, and I keep them loaded". ""

The last time anyone got in my face about guns and whether I should have them, I told HIM to try coming onto my property after 8 PM without permission or notice and see IF I have guns and IF I would use them. He shut up as the bar full of men were laughing in his face. BTW- the same rules would apply at any time of day or night if I felt threatened.


71 posted on 02/23/2006 8:42:44 AM PST by ridesthemiles
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To: SWO

Ok Doc, in the interest of my child's safety, let me ask you a few questions.

Would you mind giving me your SSN and letting me see your driver's license? Just need to do a little criminal background check.

Would you please tell me about all of your malpractice cases? including those in which you or your insurance settled out of court?

We'd be interested in knowing your political leanings and any contributions you've made. We don't want one of Hillary's 'villagers' treating our child, don't you know?


72 posted on 02/23/2006 8:42:55 AM PST by TC Rider (The United States Constitution 1791. All Rights Reserved.)
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To: Potowmack

Government is involved. Once you answer the question, it is in your medical records.

So don't answer the question.<<

Didn't you get the memo...if you don't answer, the doc can mark it yes. It will still be in your records.

Without a law, you have no recourse.

DK


73 posted on 02/23/2006 8:43:43 AM PST by Dark Knight
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To: sarasota

By the doctors reaction, you'd think I opened a raincoat to show cut off pantlegs held up by rubber bands.


74 posted on 02/23/2006 8:47:43 AM PST by the gillman@blacklagoon.com ("If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth!")
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To: the gillman@blacklagoon.com

LOL!


75 posted on 02/23/2006 8:48:40 AM PST by sarasota
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To: Designer

Looked like she was going to faint, but she held on.


76 posted on 02/23/2006 8:49:26 AM PST by the gillman@blacklagoon.com ("If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth!")
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To: SWO

Hmmm...perhaps the doctors should be asking:

Does your mother sleep with multiple partners?

Do your parents drink alchohol every day?

Do your parents smoke funny pipes or cigarettes that smell?

Does your Mom wear a seat belt or have you wear one?

Do your parents buy you food with food stamps?


I'm sure the Dims wouldn't like those. But they are all in the "interest of the health."


77 posted on 02/23/2006 8:50:52 AM PST by rightinthemiddle ("Hindsight is not wisdom, and second guessing is not a strategy.")
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To: SWO

Yes
51.82%

No
46.06%

Undecided
2.12%


78 posted on 02/23/2006 8:53:45 AM PST by ncountylee (Dead terrorists smell like victory)
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To: SWO
This is an AMA progrom, being taught to students in medical school. About 3 or 4 years ago I was watching an interview with a doctor who cancelled his AMA membership in protest of this program.

At the same time I had a friend who was going through medical school and I asked her about it. Indeed they were coaching the young doctors to ask about gun ownership. I then asked if firearm safety was a required course in medical school. The answer, "Of course not!"

Turn out she told her sister how upset she was with me for questioning her on this. I was very disappointed that she was blindly accepting the school's coaching on this.

I've never been asked the question, don't have kids, and not sure how I would respond if asked. But I may ask them certain questions, like if they had alcohol in their home and when was the last time they had a drink? Seems like I have a right to know if the physician that is about to treat me has imbibed recently. And of course to make sure they knew the dangers of children and alcohol poisoning. Or something along those lines....

79 posted on 02/23/2006 8:54:00 AM PST by Roos_Girl (Help! Help! I'm being repressed!)
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To: Potowmack
"For example, what if the doctor knows that the patient has a child with mental problems? A good doctor would suggest increased steps to keep the guns out of the kid's hands."

Bullbleep--any self-respecting gun-owning parent already knows this FAR better than any physician (unless the physician is also a gun-owning parent). There is NO reason for ANY physician EVER to ask this question.

80 posted on 02/23/2006 8:54:08 AM PST by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel)
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