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The Washington Post reports

   

A federal judge on Wednesday blocked enforcement of a first-in-the-nation law that restricted what Florida physicians can say about guns to their patients, ruling the law violates the U.S. Constitution’s free speech guarantees and does not trample gun rights.

    U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke said it was important to emphasize “the free flow of truthful, non-misleading information within the doctor-patient relationship.”

    “This case concerns one of our Constitution’s most precious rights — the freedom of speech,” said Cooke, appointed to the bench by Republican President George W. Bush. “A practitioner who counsels a patient on firearm safety, even when entirely irrelevant to medical care or safety, does not affect or interfere with the patient’s right to continue to own, possess or use firearms.”

This was truly one of the most bizarre gun laws, it barely made sense. Yet the support was as strong as if we'd been discussing gun registration, which every gun owners knows leads directly and inevitably to confiscation.

The NRA pushed this nonsense which amounted to a gag order, actually presuming to tell doctors what they can and cannot say to their patients. Governor Rick Scott signed off on it, of course, which contributed to his reputation as one of the worst.

The whole weird story could only have happened in a state like Florida, which as everyone knows is The Most Baneful State of the Union.

What's your opinion? Isn't there an obvious First Amendment contradiction in this legislation? Wasn't it bound to run into trouble in practice?  The suggestion that gun talk during a medical exam is inappropriate is ridiculous, but even if it were, certainly should not require a law prohibiting it.

This seems to be another example of the flip-flopping which gun-rights activists often do, always depending on what best supports their agenda.  Normally they bristle and resist government interference and unnecessary laws.  In this case, they wanted exactly that.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.
(cross posted at Mikeb302000)

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Comment Preferences

  •  Wasn't it pediatricians asking parents (10+ / 0-)

    if they had their guns locked up? if the parents had a gun and if they did, the pediatrician suggested to lock it up? Only pediatricians were doing this as far as I know, probably because they care about kids and hate hearing about them shooting themselves because of an unlocked gun.

    I don't see how it harms anyone or takes away anyones rights if the pediatrician asks, you can always answer "no I don't own a gun" if you already had yours properly locked up or felt you did not want to answer. Good on the Judge, didn't need a law to ban speech. If that pediatrician can save one childs life reminding a parent to lock up up their gun properly it is worth it. At most, you are inconvenienced by saying "No I don't own a gun".

    I rarely ever comment in these diaries but I am pretty middle of the road on these issues. Not interested in flame wars..

    •  the flame warriors.... (8+ / 0-)

      are silencing opinions.  I AM commenting in these diaries because this is an important issue to think about.  

      You raise good points about pediatricians.  The American Academy of Pediatricians has a pretty strong policy on firearms.

      ...the absence of guns from children's homes and communities is the most reliable and effective measure to prevent firearm-related injuries in children and adolescents. A number of specific measures are supported 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 handguns and semiautomatic assault weapons; and expanded regulations of handguns for civilian use.

       http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/...

      Florida is clearly afraid some pediatricians might sharing these opinions with parents and wants to silence them.

      Furthermore, a physician needs to be able to talk with patients about the risks for suicide for a patient or the legal guardian of a patient.  Suicide is a leading cause of death.  Guns are a leading means of suicide.  If someone purchases a gun and thinks a lot about suicide, this is an indication to a physician they are at increased risk of suicide.  How is a physician supposed to work with a patient to decrease their risk of suicide if they can't ask these questions?  Same goes for mental health counselors who are not physicians.  

      You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

      by murrayewv on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 06:56:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Added "meth lab of democracy" tag to diary (9+ / 0-)

    This is an award which I confer on states (which theoretically are the
    laboratories of democracy to state actions which are perverse, corrupt, wrong-headed, or cruel.  This one falls under corrupt.  

    The state legislature, eager to find a Threat to the Holy Rite to Keep and Bear Arms anywhere and every where, decided to hold a physician's license hostage to a version of speech which the legislature approved.  This is a typical strategical of the anti-abortion rights terrorists, and in fact it appears to be patterned after their numerous efforts to regulate the speech of physicians and patients.

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 03:25:12 AM PDT

  •  Anti-gun prejudice (4+ / 2-)

    That law, this post, and this poster.

    Point blank.

    Guns are not going to be confiscated, anti-gun nuts aren't going to get anywhere outside of annoying us with their dribble.

    Feh.

    Republicans HATE America. Deal with it. / It's the PLUTONOMY, Stupid!

    by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 03:39:00 AM PDT

  •  I'm embarrassed to say.... (14+ / 0-)

    ...I live in Florida, am an RN (retired) and yesterday was the first time I have ever heard of this insane law.  Glad to hear it was thrown out the window.

    Talking about gun safety is as important a task as talking to new parents about infant car seats.  Or a physician specializing in geriatrics talking to their elderly patients about fall precautions in the home.

    •  Doctors should be able to talk to (10+ / 0-)

      their patients about anything. If they want to talk about firearms let them, although since owning a firearm is not a medical condition if my doctor asked me if I owned one my response would be, "I'm sorry doc, I don't see how me owning or not owning a firearm relates to my current medical condition. Regardless, I thought the biggest concern about this law was whether or not the doctor was keeping records of how patients answered.

      At any rate, if someone wants or needs advice on anything firearm related I recommend talking to the police department or the local shooting club and if someone wants or needs medical advice they should seek out a doctor.

      Life is risky, politics is war, government is force and liberty is very expensive.

      by oldpunk on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 04:17:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know if I'd recommend talking to the (6+ / 0-)

        local LEOs about firearms. It would depend on the LEOs. The guys around here are great but in other areas...not so much.

        Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

        by KVoimakas on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 04:29:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're probably right but getting advice from (5+ / 0-)

          a doctor on firearms is like getting advice from a car salesman on shoes, it makes no sense.

          Life is risky, politics is war, government is force and liberty is very expensive.

          by oldpunk on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 04:38:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  yeah, what would an m.d. know about gunshot (5+ / 0-)

            wounds? or for that matter a pediatrician know about children with gunshot wounds caused by improperly stored weapons?

            good point.

            I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalog: "No good in a bed, but fine up against a wall." ~Eleanor Roosevelt

            by Ramdove on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 04:41:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The discussion isn't about wounds. (5+ / 0-)

              It is about simple ownership of firearms, and whether pediatricians should ask people whether they own firearms.

              Please stop trying to derail and hijack the diary.

              Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

              by theatre goon on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 04:47:48 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  If a doctor asks if you have a two story house (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ER Doc, Pandoras Box

                would you say that was to intrusive ?

                How about asking if the electrical outlets were child proofed ?

                If the drawers and cabinets were latched ?

                If the bath tub had grip stickers ?

                A pediatrician should not ask these things ?
                A contractor , electrician , plumber should ?

                "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                by indycam on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 07:59:40 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, I find it overly intrusive. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  rockhound, oldpunk, gerrilea

                  A pediatrician can easily pass out literature covering the regular problems without asking questions which are simply not directly medical issues.

                  Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

                  by theatre goon on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 10:00:53 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  So then just find a new physician (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ER Doc

                    I had a physician who started talking to me about God and Jesus.

                    Well, he shouldn't be talking about that stuff to his patients, especially not me, but I wouldn't want to ban him from doing so.

                    I just left and never went back.

                    •  That's exactly what I have done. (5+ / 0-)

                      Of course, the doctor that put me into this, very possibly overly self-protective place I find myself, was anti-Obama and anti-healthcare reform.

                      Seems he really though I should go get this surgery before Obama screwed up the health system.  And, unfortunately, insurance wouldn't cover it, but I really, really needed it.

                      Luckily, I sought a second opinion, who said it was not only not necessary, but contra-indicated for my situation.

                      So, yes.  I am very particular about privacy issues when it comes to medical situations.

                      And, to be clear, I wouldn't ban a doctor from, say, talking about God and Jesus over the dinner table -- just not in his office when treating me.  I don't see it as any different from not letting doctors push medicines that have not been approved by the FDA.

                      Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

                      by theatre goon on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 10:19:32 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Slightly OT (3+ / 0-)

                        but many doctors prescribe certain drugs for purposes that are not approved by the FDA, though the drugs themselves are approved for other uses.

                        My family doctor shares an office and staff with three other docs. Once when he was unavailable, I saw one of his partners, a former Republican state rep, for some minor thing, and the guy spent half of the visit bitching about the Democrats and promoting some obscure R initiative or another.

                        I now make it a point to not see this guy.

                        "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

                        by happy camper on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 06:27:57 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  Health and safety of the child is not ? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ER Doc

                    Are you a pediatrician ?
                    If not , you should ask a trained professional , like say maybe a pediatrician , what a pediatrician should and should not do / say / ask .
                    My ex S.O. is a pediatrician .

                    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                    by indycam on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 10:23:09 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Only after the child has (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    pot, Ramdove

                    fallen down the stairs ,
                    electrocuted themselves ,
                    poisoned themselves ,
                    slipped in the bathtub ,
                    should the pediatrician get concerned ?

                     

                    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                    by indycam on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 10:26:49 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Already responded to that point. (4+ / 0-)

                      A doctor can quite easily tell someone all about safety gates in front of stairways without asking if they live in a two-story house.

                      They have piles of those pamphlets in the waiting room, generally.

                      You are arguing against an assertion I have not made.

                      Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

                      by theatre goon on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 10:30:38 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  So just hand out pamphlets ? (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        pot, Ramdove, ER Doc

                        Don't talk , just hand out pamphlets ?
                        That's a recipe for failure .

                        "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                        by indycam on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 10:33:18 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Or, even better... (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          rockhound, oldpunk, gerrilea

                          ...the doctor could ask, "Are there any issues you need information on?"

                          Then, what is discussed is brought up by the patient, rather than the doctor.  No prying questions, only what information is volunteered by the patient.

                          Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

                          by theatre goon on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 10:38:06 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  And if the parents don't ask about (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Ramdove, ER Doc

                            stairs , electricity , poison , vaccines etc etc etc
                            Then everything is fine and dandy !
                            Your method is a recipe for disaster .

                            Being proactive is a good thing ,
                            being less than proactive isn't .

                            "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                            by indycam on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 10:47:02 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I just don't get this, really....since when do we (2+ / 0-)

                            believe that parents can't read labels or have any common sense? That someone doctor must tell them how and what to do with THEIR children!

                            Is it because of our failed Educational system?  The latest reports show that reading scores are the lowest in 40 yrs.

                            http://www.allheadlinenews.com/...

                            Lower average scores were registered for reading, writing and math, but it was in reading where the drop was biggest at three points, which caused the average to go down to a 40-year low of 497.

                            Growing up we didn't have "child-proof" homes but then again, during the formative years of our lives, Mom stayed at home mostly...only getting a 3rd shift job to get through the holidays, then as we grew older being forced into working to support us after the divorce.

                            Hey, what if we paid people a real living wage? Where there was only one person needed to work... they could teach, watch and educate their own children again.  Help them with their homework, teach them about this wonderful world, be there when they get depressed after breaking up with their boyfriend or girlfriend.  

                            JUST MAYBE then it wouldn't take some agent of the state to mandate anything.

                            I know, I know.... I'm an idealist.

                            -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

                            by gerrilea on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 10:33:34 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It's an excuse. (3+ / 0-)

                            If the parents screw up, then they can blame it on the doctors not explaining it to them.

                            Or, maybe I'm just overly cynical at the moment...

                            Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

                            by theatre goon on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 01:21:44 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

            •  Hey billy, context is every thing. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              theatre goon, Robobagpiper
              A federal judge on Wednesday blocked enforcement of a first-in-the-nation law that restricted what Florida physicians can say about guns to their patients, ruling the law violates the U.S. Constitution’s free speech guarantees and does not trample gun rights.

              So the advice you think they are giving is "Yeah guns will blow a big fucking hole in you if you aren't careful." Again your comments are nothing more than internet badass bluster and are as irreverent as you.

              Life is risky, politics is war, government is force and liberty is very expensive.

              by oldpunk on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 04:52:02 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  well, we certainly can't have doctors being (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Cartoon Peril

                proactive about trying to preserve human beings lives, especially childrens.

                after all. that might make the gun lobby look bad, and we all know the gun lobby trumps something as silly as human life.

                guns over life...yeah baby

                I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalog: "No good in a bed, but fine up against a wall." ~Eleanor Roosevelt

                by Ramdove on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 07:12:29 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Well physicians see the results..... (5+ / 0-)

            of firearms ownership and are frankly opposed to firearms ownership and support regulation.  I posted this link to AAP policy http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/....

            Here is the American Academy of Family Physicians policy statement on firearms.  http://www.aafp.org/...

            The studies on firearms ownership that link it to additional risk of firearms death, including suicide, are persuasive to physicians, especially since these studies are published in well respected, peer reviewed medical journals.  

            This is a good discussion of why physicians feel they should be able to discuss the issue with their clients.  http://psychcentral.com/...

            They point out that asking about weapons in the home could assess risk for violence as well as suicide in a patient.

            I also liked this statement.

            And, by the way — how, exactly, is the second amendment’s right to bear arms infringed upon by a doctor’s mere inquiry, regarding guns in the home? Is the idea that the doctor is going to lead a group of left-wing, anti-gun zealots out to the patient’s house, and confiscate legally-owned firearms?

            You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

            by murrayewv on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 07:38:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  It's just not a doctor's business. (3+ / 0-)

        The vast majority of the time, it is simply not a doctor's business if I own firearms.  No more than it is any of their business if I keep beer in the fridge or turpentine out in the shed.

        If they want to go through how to keep all of those things safe, then, fine.  If anyone wants to hear it, that is.

        It's not a Free Speech issue -- we already curtail a doctor's speech, when it comes to medicine, much more than we do general public speech.  This is no different.

        Now, when you consider there are those people, doctors included, who may view even wanting to own a firearm as indication of a mental health issue (which we have seen right here at DKos, from time to time), then yes, we absolutely should put some control on this.

        It is not a medical issue, so it is none of a doctor's business, and it certainly shouldn't be in any medical record.  

        Now, if someone is adjudicated mentally ill and, perhaps, prohibited from owning firearms -- then that's a whole other discussion, of course.  In that, very limited, case, then it might become a medical issue.  

        Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

        by theatre goon on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 04:44:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Legislature can't make that call however (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Geekesque, gzodik, raincrow, pot

          You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

          by Cartoon Peril on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 04:48:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  how do we curtail a physician's speech..... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cartoon Peril, Pandoras Box

          with regard to medicine?  Are you talking about abortion?

          An employer may curtail speech as part of employment- such as a Catholic hospital.  The physician has a right to go to another hospital to practice.  The religious groups do want to curtail discussion of abortion and access to abortion and force physicians to make untrue statements about fetal ability to feel pain and are issuing laws like that.  Is that really the group of legislators you wish to join.  Do you want to compel physicians to tell people firearms ownership will reduce firearms deaths?  This is not snark- since many who strongly advocate CCW believe this most genuinely.

          You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

          by murrayewv on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 07:47:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's not a doctor's business, huh, theatre goon? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pandoras Box, pot, emelyn

          So, it's the government's business to say what can and cannot be said?

          Could you be any less consistent in your positions?

          •  I am perfectly consistent. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rockhound, oldpunk, wretchedhive, gerrilea

            As pointed out, this is not a matter of free speech -- it is a matter of professional speech.

            We pass any number of laws constraining professional speech, particularly with regards to lawyers and doctors, in the pursuit of their profession.

            It's really not a difficult concept.

            A doctor can not, for instance, discuss their patients with other people.  Do you consider that a problem of free speech?  

            This is no different.

            Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

            by theatre goon on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 10:03:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  What of plumbers, electricians and other licensed (0+ / 0-)

              persons.  Would you regulate their speech in a similar fashion?

              You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

              by Cartoon Peril on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 11:11:49 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Some of them already are. (5+ / 0-)

                Lawyers, in particular, have pretty stringent codes of ethics, some of which are supported legislatively.  They are not allowed to talk about their clients without consent -- is that a constraint on free speech?  

                No, it is a constraint on their profession, specifically.

                I don't know of any similar restraints that would be reasonable for plumbers or electricians, but there well could be.  Actually, that's not always true.  I know an architect who also happens to be an inspector for the county -- that puts him into some awkward positions, sometimes, because as an architect, there are things that he can discuss that he cannot as an inspector.

                Keep in mind, in all of this, I am only speaking about when they are acting as a member of their profession.  If I'm in line at Starbucks with a doctor, he can ask whatever he likes.  In that instance, I might even answer, depending on how it's done.

                Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

                by theatre goon on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 12:03:15 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Any other topics that would be off limit? (2+ / 0-)

                  You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

                  by Cartoon Peril on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 02:21:22 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Sure. (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    oldpunk, wretchedhive, gerrilea

                    Religion (especially when it happens to be a doctor who has religious reservations about things like birth control), politics...

                    Basically, anything that's not directly a medical issue (when talking about doctors, of course), should be out-of-bounds when it comes to that doctor acting as a doctor.

                    Now, I'm not talking general small-talk stuff -- how's the wife and kids -- but if I happened to be going through a divorce, the doctor could just stay right out of that subject.

                    If it has no direct bearing on a medical issue, a doctor has no business asking about it.

                    This is, of course, my opinion -- how I think things ought to be, not how I believe they are.

                    Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

                    by theatre goon on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 02:35:50 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  An interesting theory, that people can say nothing (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Pandoras Box, emelyn

                      at their job unless it relates to their job.

                      You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

                      by Cartoon Peril on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 02:41:13 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I didn't say all people, though. (6+ / 0-)

                        Let's not put something into my statement that isn't there.  Specifically, in this case, doctors -- and only while acting as a doctor.

                        As I've explained elsewhere, as doctors may be seen as something of a figure of authority, people may well answer questions that the doctor has no business asking.

                        I do see the same sort of thing for some other professions, as well -- lawyers and police officers come to mind.

                        Being in the positing they are in, and as they each have certain legal protections and authority, they should have higher levels of ethical/legal constraints, as well.

                        Of course, if a plumber asks me about firearm ownership, I'll likely tell him it's none of his business, either.

                        Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

                        by theatre goon on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 03:27:50 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

              •  A plumber, electrician or any other licensed (5+ / 0-)

                professional is not mandated to report to CPS or the Police or keep client records that are then reviewed by the State. Except of course, IRS audits... ;)

                The medical profession is a completely different "species".

                If my plumber walks in with a Concealed firearm, we might get into a discussion about gun rights...I might even ask him/her to show it to me...since I don't own a gun...it would be interesting.

                If my electrician starts asking me how many guns I have, I'd think he was "scoping me out".  Maybe his "side job" is to break into people's homes and steal things. Maybe he's a rapist and wants easy prey....?

                So the analogies don't really work, in context, do they?

                -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

                by gerrilea on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 10:03:20 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  mental illness IS a medical issue (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cartoon Peril, gerrilea, emelyn

          and children are too young to understand the consequences of their actions, even when that action is picking up a gun that is laying around and pulling the trigger

        •  You are free to not answer as well, you know (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          theatre goon, Cartoon Peril, oldpunk

          and it doesn't appear that in the past there has been rampant questioning by physicians about people's gun ownership, so I do not see how it is such a pressing problem it requires limiting someone's right to even ask.

          It doesn't mean they have a right to an answer.

          •  The problem with that is... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Catesby, oldpunk, gerrilea

            ...that all too many people consider doctors to be in something of a position of authority, and will answer questions that they are not required to.

            With law-enforcement giving medical practitioners the benefit of the doubt, when and if they do report what they see as a problem, it is quite understandable how many people see them as authority figures.

            Heck, how many people know they don't have to answer a cop's intrusive questions, much less a doctor's?

            Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

            by theatre goon on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 10:07:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I can see this with a very small segment (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              theatre goon, Cartoon Peril, pot, oldpunk

              of society who are easily intimidated - and this probably causes them a whole range of problems.

              However, I don't think anyone believes a doctor can arrest them, so I don't think you can compare the two reactions.

              But maybe I am just seeing this from the perspective of my own personality.  I wouldn't tell a doctor shit I didn't want them to know.

              However, it still leads us back to the question of how much of an issue is it?  Doctors have been allowed to ask about guns for centuries.  Is there any evidence that doctors are actually asking, or that it is an issue in any way?

              •  I'm answering you in like three different places.. (5+ / 0-)

                ...so please forgive any redundancy.

                :-)

                When a doctor can have parental rights threatened just on their own suspicion of child abuse, then yes, they are in a position of authority.

                When a doctor can report someone as a danger to themselves or others, and their report be given more weight than any other citizen, then they are in a position of authority.

                Admittedly, the vast, overwhelming majority of doctors will not abuse these powers.  But, similarly, the vast, overwhelming majority of people also will not rob a bank -- but it is still illegal.  

                Why should we not make similar guidelines for what doctors can say or ask?  In fact, we already do so, with medical privacy laws.  How is this different?

                Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

                by theatre goon on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 10:28:10 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  OK, I can see your point (5+ / 0-)

                  thanks for walking me through it.  It is valid.  And I read your other replies :)

                  I still think government banning is an extreme solution to something we have not identified as a real problem yet.  Perhaps it would be better to work it through the AMA or similar organizations to better educate doctors on things like guns, religion, politics etc. and why it is best avoided.

                  However, on the other hand, as much as I would love to stop hearing about Jesus in my doctor's office, many would be upset if their doctor could not discuss things with them in religious terms - especially if they just received bad news.  Likewise, many here would be upset if they could not discuss single-payer with their doctor during a visit.

                  All conversations with doctors during a visit are deeply personal which is why a strong ethical system for doctors is so important.  And I think most patients, if they trust their doctor, would want their doctor to be able to be open and honest with them.  Restricting that could lead to a very slippery slope of unintended consequences.  Such as we have seen with abortion and the restriction of doctor's speech there.

                  I think your cure is worse than the disease.

                  •  I may not have expressed it perfectly. (4+ / 0-)

                    For instance, if the patient brings up the issue, then it's perfectly valid for the doctor to then discuss it, in many cases.  Why anyone would ask a doctor about firearms advice, though, I'm not sure.  

                    You may well have the better option, that it should be an ethical issue, handled through the AMA rather than through legislation -- but I do believe it is something that legislation could address, if it becomes an issue.

                    And, I'll fully grant you this -- it's not necessarily a problem right now, and very well may not need to be addressed unless and until it does become one.  I go back and forth on these sorts of preemptive laws myself.

                    It's mainly that, in this, as in many other instances, I prefer to err on the side of protecting rights -- in this case, privacy rights.  I'd rather be overly-protective of rights rather than letting them slip away.

                    Thank you for the very stimulating discussion.

                    Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

                    by theatre goon on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 10:54:50 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

      •  wouldn't HIPPA Privacy..... (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ER Doc, Pandoras Box, raincrow, oldpunk, emelyn

        rules cover this?  http://www.hhs.gov/...

        I think physicians have a responsibility to discuss responsible gun ownership with parents.  Any physician concerned with mental health issues might want to discuss firearms in assessing suicide risk.

        You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

        by murrayewv on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 07:26:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I thought this law (11+ / 0-)

    was silly to begin with. As long as your doctor doesn't write it down, nobody will ever know what you talked about that day anyway. How would anyone check up on this?

    It's just those wacky Republicans trying to get the gummint off everyone's back, dontcha know? Unless you do something they don't like, that is... Good on the court for throwing this out. Doctors and patients should be able to discuss anything they want to, or not discuss it, as they deem appropriate.

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 07:21:56 AM PDT

  •  Even when you finally post something (6+ / 0-)

    that actually makes a valid point, and I am in total agreement that this law was rightfully destined to be struck down ,you still can't resist this stuff like this

    Yet the support was as strong as if we'd been discussing gun registration, which every gun owners knows leads directly and inevitably to confiscation.
     Was it? You offer no substantiation, just sarcasm. And this  
    This seems to be another example of the flip-flopping which gun-rights activists often do, always depending on what best supports their agenda.  Normally they bristle and resist government interference and unnecessary laws.  In this case, they wanted exactly that.
    That's why people think you're dishonest and biased. You just can't resist poking people in the eye, no matter what. You purposely attempt to provoke gun owners with this unnecessary rhetoric.

    Even with worthwhile material, you manage to fail.

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 07:33:50 AM PDT

  •  This is a PUBLIC HEALTH and SAFETY issue (7+ / 0-)

    No doctor in Florida was telling anyone not to own a gun. The original complaint (summer of 2010, if I recall) was from some parents who objected for some reason when their pediatrician asked them if they owned a gun, and if they kept it locked up SO THEIR TODDLER WOULDN'T GET A HOLD OF IT.

    It's about patient safety. How is that stepping on anyone's rights? Why wouldn't any parent lock up a gun when there are young kids in the house? Doctors also ask about other health and safety issues, such as "Does your child always sit in a booster seat or wear a seat belt?" "What fruits and vegetables does your child eat?" "How many hours of sleep does he/she get per night?" I suppose those are too personal for a physician who is trying to determine the health and safety of a patient?

    Of course, the NRA went ape-shit. The original proposed law would have fined physicians $5 million for even asking about a gun, along with the threat to take away the doctor's license.

    This was never about trying to remove gun ownership. It was about patient safety, pure and simple, and the Florida legislators, backed by the NRA, just couldn't help themselves.

    •  absolutely right, Molly (0+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      Hidden by:
      GoGoGoEverton

      this was a gun-rights vs. gun-control fight, not a Republican vs. Democratic one.

      Interestingly the overlap of gun-rights guys and Republicans is nearly 100%.  But you've always got some wacky Democrats in there too especially in places like FL.

    •  I respectfully disagree and here's why: (3+ / 0-)

      While the law in question was poorly written and should be struck down.  This topic isn't about a public health issue, patient safety nor doctors' free speech rights outside their professional duties.

      It has, IMO, always been about how to sway public opinion for or against something.  To get candidate "X" into office or to kick candidate "Y" out of office.

      It's that simple, on the surface.  

      BUT:

      When we see "Medical Professionals" suggest that obese children be taken by CPS as is described here:

      Or when children are taken because their parents teach them not to trust government, like here.

      Or the case where a mother refused to give her son chemo was arrested here.

      There is genuine concern that if a parent admits that they own a firearm, they could be arrested for "endangering the welfare of a child" and then their children taken.

      What I find distressing here is how did our society come to depend on the government and it's agents so much? And those "agents" I refer to here are medical professionals.

      After all, they are legally obligated to disclose to either CPS or the Police when they believe a child is in danger. They, at that moment, are agents of the State.

      What ever happened to "calling your Mom" or your Aunt or your Preacher (ugh, I had to add that, even though I do not believe in organized religion) for help raising your children? Why or how have we been so conditioned to believe an agent of the State "knows best"?

      Is this not another example of our failed "great society"? When we must depend upon the government to tell us what to do, how to live and how to raise our children?

      To any claims a doctor/pediatrician has some unalienable right to "free speech" while acting as an agent of the State, I point you to this:

      Remember a while back we were all in an uproar when pharmacists were refusing to dispense birth control?

      This has now become a Federal issue with the introduction of S. 1555:
      http://thinkprogress.org/...

      Are we not now demanding that a licensed professional cannot claim their unalienable right to religious expression be exercised while at work?

      How's this regulation any different from the requirements imposed in 41 States of mandatory reporting, like in NY:

      NY Penal Law § 265.25 and 26 requires health care providers to report firearm wounds, knife wounds that may result in death and burns over 5 % of the body or which may result in death.

      Or like in Ohio:

      ORC § 2921.22 requires health care professionals to report gunshot wounds, stab wounds, any serious physical harm resulting from violence, any burns resulting from violence, and all second and third degree burns from incendiary devices.Also, if the physician suspects the patient is a victim of domestic violence that must be noted on the patient's chart.

      Or like in Oklahoma:

      OK Statutes Sec.10-7104 requires health care professional to report injuries resulting from criminal conduct.

      Hope this was reply was helpful in clarifying this topic.

      ~Gerrilea

      -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

      by gerrilea on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 09:45:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This law was a source of great friction within the (11+ / 0-)

    RKBA group earlier this year. We are not unanimous in our opinions about much of anything, but this was a particular sore point. The law not only prevents pediatricians from asking about safe gun storage, it also prevents psychiatrists and emergency physicians from asking suicidal patients about access to guns. I disagree strongly with this law, and am happy to see a federal judge deal with it.

    -5.12, -5.23

    We are men of action; lies do not become us.

    by ER Doc on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 08:38:27 AM PDT

  •  Seriously Guns do kill people... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gerrilea, emelyn
  •  I am pro-RKBA (7+ / 0-)

    (although not necessarily all the people associated with it), and I own a gun that I use on my sheep farm.

    I was raised in London, and used to be virulently anti-gun, and it's been a long journey to get from there to here.

    That said, I find that restricting a doctor's right to just ask about gun use to be extreme, unnecessary, and possibly unconstitutional.

    No one is required to answer such questions truthfully, or at all if they don't want to.

  •  Good. Ridiculous law. n/t (5+ / 0-)
  •  Pretty stupid law (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    43north

    If a doctor asks me whether or not I have guns in my house, I'll probably just lie:

    "Yeah, I have a couple Ma Dueces, a 20mm Lahti on skids, a pack howitzer and a handful of Bren guns, doc".

    Privacy problem effectively solved.

    However...

    Does this also set a precedent for allowing doctors to try and convince patients to not seek abortions?

    To what extent does a doctor's right to free speech extend when it's part of the health care that the patient is paying for?

    Do they have the right to prattle on about whatever health / social / moral issue they deem fit as a pre-condition to providing care?

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Ghandi

    by DaveinBremerton on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 04:09:59 PM PDT

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