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
Fortunately, I don't feel that I need that form. My Doc knows what types of firearms I own. He is very qualified to lecture me on firearm safety. I would willingly trade all of my guns, including a family heirloom pump 12 gauge, for just the ones he has mentioned in passing. I would love to see his whole collection.
If he asked me about guns it would be for my opinion on one he was considering buying.
To be honest, I don't really see why government should get involved in the conversations between a doctor and patient.
If you feel that your doctor is too nosy, either tell him that you don't want to talk about such a subject, or get another doctor.
But a government mandate banning such a topic of discussion? That's even more intrusive, IMO.
There might be a very good reason why a doctor might suggest to a patient that they keep guns locked up. 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.
Maybe they can change the way they approach the issue. Instead of asking, "Do you have guns?" what if they instead said, "And please remember, in the event you have guns, to handle them safely." I think that would go over better.
The real solution when a doc asks an irrelevant private question that will become part of your government file in the long run is to stand up and leave.
Going back to the article, the proposed law is an unconstitutional infringement of free speech. The legislature has no right to pass a law that restricts what people can talk about. Everyone on this thread is so worried about their losing 2nd amendment rights that they want take away other poeple's 1st amendment rights. It's disgusting!
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.
Thus far, no doctor ever has (my primary care physician has lots of "Outdoor Life" and similar hunting mags in his wating room).
Sounds like my Doc. See my post#51.
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.
When will the NRA be able to prescribe extra strength hydrocortisone for people who have itchy trigger fingers?
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!!!
51.5% in favor of banning pediatricians from asking gun questions
And this is any of your @&#* business because...?
So don't answer the question.
"Hunting for Fido? :^) "
I call pics like that "Scenes from the feline revolution"
They're out to get us, I tell ya!
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.
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.
So, no, no guns in my house and I *always* wear a bicycle helmet.
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.
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?
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.
By the doctors reaction, you'd think I opened a raincoat to show cut off pantlegs held up by rubber bands.
Looked like she was going to faint, but she held on.
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."
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....
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.
Scary thing is, if you give the "wrong" answer to some of those questions, in some states it will either put you in direct violation of state law, or at least provide what the state recognizes as "probable cause" for a visit by child welfare workers. Will the doctor then report you?
There are a lot of gun-owners out there who don't practice adequate gun safety.
I'm really not sure why there needs to be a government solution to this problem. Like I said, if a doctor is too nosy, get another doctor.
Since the question is NOT about any area of medicine, YES, I "do" think the legislature has the ability to restrict the what the doctor does. After all, they are ALREADY telling him that he can or cannot practice medicine at all. It's not a "free speech" issue.
See the post from the Freeper who refused to answer, and whos physican WROTE IN HER RECORDS that his answer was "yes".
By filling in a false answer, that physician already violated ethical and legal rules regarding accuracy in medical records.
That was the essence of my reply to another post. If you don't want a doctor asking if you have firearms, go to a different doctor. At first I was thinking the doctors just want to prevent pediatric firearm accidents. Not a bad thing to do. But then the story started to nag me and I realized it wasn't the gun question. It really struck me that this is also a free speech issue. No I'm getting more upset that this state government wants to restrict speech. Regardless of my opinion on doctors asking about guns, I'm getting really upset about the government regulating speech.
We must go to the same Doctor.
It depends on who defines gun safety. My parents owned guns. Those guns were ALWAYS loaded, and openly available at any time to any member of the family. THEY defined "gun safety" as "teaching their children proper gun-handling and safety procedures". NOT as the physicians typically recommend--keep all guns locked up with the ammunition locked up separately.
But you can bet if I or any of my siblings had displayed any irresponsibility that the guns would have been "made safe".
And this helps the gun-owner exactly how, when the doc's records are computerized and cross-linked, and the feds later decide to search those records to see who's a gun-owner??
No, unless you're trying to get certain medications prescribed to you or otherwise defraud or mislead to a criminal act. Then it's both a crime and a tort. You're not under oath, but not all lies are OK.
I'd be glad to see this busybody practice (what is it about the Pediatrics Associations?) abandoned.
And most docs don't like having to do it--the Associations decide what "standard of care" is and who "deviates from standard practice." Then you might lack a good-faith defense in court. Docs are as likely as any conservative to own guns or belong to the NRA.
But Associations are often made up of people who don't want the bother of treating patients.
And where do you draw the line with medicine? Just active treatment for patient complaints and not root causes? The legislature should be doing that, too? It should be up to the doctor to do ask such a question and not mandated or restricted. Giving permission to ask when a gun injury is involved is pointless because, with a gun injury, the police and, in the case of a minor, social services will be sticking their noses in big time. For doctors, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. My only issue with asking the question is that doctors not record the information and it be done informally.
Legal requirements for registration of what can reasonably be presumed to be animal breeding and selling businesses is well within the scope of the interstate commerce clause. I don't know the specific law you're referring to, and if it covers people who just have several pets, it's out of line. But the puppy mill problem is not only one of horrible animal cruelty, but also of serious infectious diseases being spread from state to state, since nearly all these operations sell to brokers including out-of-state ones, and the brokers in turn resell to retailers in multiple states. And even for animals only be sold within the state, most states' laws have long provided for regulatory measures to avoid spread of disease in livestock, and commercial inventory pet animals are essentially livestock.
Horses are another type of "pet" animal that are frequently sold across state lines, and have multiple owners during their lifetimes, so breeders/traders of horses can also appropriately be subject to registration and inspection requirements. But of course, this shouldn't apply to a family which keeps a few horses for pleasure riding.
Physicians are likely under pressure by their trade association and insurance companies to be proactive with regard to gun ownership. Additionally, in graduate schools as well as at the undergraduate level, leftist propaganda commingles with "hard" science. As a result, many physicians are liberals and therefore support gun control. At the last Presidential election, there were surveys that showed that people with graduate degrees were almost as likely to vote for Kerry as were those who did not graduate from high school, the low paid workers and welfare recipients that have been a Democrat "core" group since the New Deal era.
Ideally, insurance and medicine are services that should be freed from state regulation. However, that is unlikely to happen in our lifetimes. We are fortunate if we can successfully stop fully socialized medicine and elimination of the free market on vitamins and supplements. Given that we are stuck with a regulated commodity (medicine), it may be necessary to stop insurance firms and state medical associations from covertly promoting an anti-gun agenda. I do not think it is a violation of the doctors' First Amendment rights any more than it is for a postal worker or a soldier being prohibited from engaging in partisan politics by campaigning for a candidate.
Interesting story. Perhaps if politics could be set aside, the medical schools and the NRA could co-ordinate their activities and come up with a safety program that would be practical and apolitical. Otherwise, the NEA may try to get the grade schools to do the same thing.
Right on target.
re: Additionally, in graduate schools as well as at the undergraduate level, leftist propaganda commingles with "hard" science. As a result, many physicians are liberals and therefore support gun control. At the last Presidential election, there were surveys that showed that people with graduate degrees were almost as likely to vote for Kerry as were those who did not graduate from high school, the low paid workers and welfare recipients that have been a Democrat "core" group since the New Deal era.)))
a clean miss--there's a big difference between a professional (and I'd include accountants, MBAs, etc. here) and a MA in Philosophy. It's a rare doc who voted for Kerry, and a rare doc who'd belong to the Lawyer Party.
I have a problem with the 1st Amendment aspect of this too. However, I would be fine with such a bill if it applied only to patients whose bills are being paid in any part by public funds, and to doctors whose salaries are being paid by a publicly funded institution or agency, and to facilities which have been built and/or maintained with public funds (and that would end up catching a solid majority of pediatric offices). Taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize the medical profession's anti-gun political crusading (which is part of its larger pro-socialism political crusading). I suspect that in many pediatric practices, a very large percentage of patients are taxpayer-subsidized. Even worse, a lot of parents who are relying on taxpayer-funded health care programs for their children, are in programs where they don't haven't any choice as to what doctor they see, so the "if you don't like it, find another doctor" answer doesn't help.
And what disease is a gun the cause of??? Simple answer---none. Gun ownership is not like smoking, for instance, or excessive consumption of fatty foods, or any other REAL medical issue with a "root cause".
Sorry, but gun ownership is NOT a medical issue, despite all the pushing by anti-gun physicians to make it into one.
DOCTORS KILL MORE PEOPLE THAN GUNS DO!