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Doctor Vivek Murthy stands among other bystanders during the first day of legal arguments over the Affordable Care Act outside the Supreme Court in Washington March 26, 2012. U.S. President Barack Obama's sweeping healthcare overhaul on Monday went before the U.S. Supreme Court where the nine justices began hearing arguments in a historic test of the law's validity under the U.S. Constitution. REUTERS/Jason Reed   (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS HEALTH CIVIL UNREST) - RTR2ZWK8
Dr. Vivek Murthy
Earlier this month, the Senate rejected the nomination of Debo Adegbile to head the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division. Actually it wasn't the whole Senate; it was Republicans and seven Democrats who were afraid of controversy because when Adegbile was a lawyer with the NAACP, he did his job and was in the team that got a convicted killer off of death row. Being good at your job, if your job is something Republicans object to and Democrats are afraid of, is a problem. That's what Vivek Murthy, a well-respected physician, is finding out as opposition grows to his nomination as surgeon general.

This time it's the heavy hand of the NRA intimidating senators.

Murthy, a physician at a top Boston hospital and a teacher at Harvard Medical School, cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee in February with the support of all Democrats and one Republican, Sen. Mark Kirk (Ill.). He would be the first Indian-American surgeon general, if confirmed, and he's supported by more than 50 key organizations and figures in the health and wellness community, per the White House.

But past comments he made in support of gun control have drawn strong opposition from the National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America. Specifically, in his role as the leader of Doctors for America, Murthy called gun violence "an important public health issue" and urged a ban on military-style assault weapons after the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings in December 2012. That position isn't sitting well with powerful leaders in the gun lobby.

"Simply put, confirmation of Dr. Murthy is a prescription for disaster for America's gun owners," Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA's legislative arm, wrote to Senate leaders in February.

Dr. Murthy would not be in a position to actually do anything but talk about guns. Because of the NRA's ceaseless lobbying, federal medical research institutions are forbidden to study guns as part of their public health mission or even to advocate for firearms restrictions. Murthy, or any other surgeon general, would have very little influence at all on the issue. Murthy himself testified in his confirmation hearing that he would not use this position, should he be confirmed, to advocate for gun restrictions.

Not good enough for as many as 10 Democrats who are terrified of having the NRA campaign against them. Thus far, Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) is the only one to publicly say he's a likely "no" vote, but Democratic opposition has prevented Harry Reid from scheduling a vote. That's forced the White House to, in the words of press secretary Jay Carney, "recalibrate" their approach to the nomination. They don't want another debacle like the Adegbile nomination. It's unclear right now whether recalibrating means having Murthy withdraw his nomination, or President Obama stepping in and personally lobbying Democrats to grow a spine.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:10 AM PDT.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), Shut Down the NRA, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The man may be eminently qualified (21+ / 0-)

    But he's got brown skin and is being nominated by a President with brown skin.  The Bigots in the Senate won't abide by that choice.  I don't know which is worse in the eyes of the Bigots -- having brown skin or being nominated by a man with brown skin.  
    Please, please, please.   Do not sit out this next election.  Vote the Bigots out of office in November.  We need to get this country back on track, and a liberal Democratic House and Senate are essential to that process.

  •  Even on Adegbile (8+ / 0-)

    the reporting was that Senate leadership didn't want a vote that they knew in advance they would lose. Yet the story was that Adegbile insisted on a vote and got one. Not sure how he pulled that off, but if accurate, good on him.

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:36:29 AM PDT

  •  Florida GOP legislative committee(NRA) (18+ / 0-)

    passed a bill in 2011-12(?) that prevented pediatricians from talking with parents about guns, making sure they're locked up away from children, etc.
    Doctors came out in FORCE against it - and it didn't pass.

    "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

    by MartyM on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:41:48 AM PDT

  •  Pssst don't talk bad about guns although (11+ / 0-)

    Owning a gun increases your risk  & your family's of getting killed. You can't interfere with gun sales. Guns have more rights than humans.

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:49:37 AM PDT

  •  NRA - 1; American Health - 0 (9+ / 0-)

    American public health once again loses to the NRA.

    What truly makes America exceptional is the lengths our government is willing to go to foster corporate profits at the expense of the lives of the American people.

    Once again we see the democratic party turn their backs on the well-being of the American people to curry favor with their corporate sponsors.

    American liberals do not want to vote for feckless craven legislators.  This will become apparent again after the election this fall.  Sadly, the Democratic Party cannot seem to learn this leassion.

    "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

    by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:52:00 AM PDT

  •  it is an issue that SHOULD be pushed (14+ / 0-)

    because anyone who votes against him on such a basis can be attacked by the Bloomberg operation - remember, most Americans SUPPORT various levels of gun control

    and I would argue the NRA ban against even studying it is something that should be used against pro-NRA Senators in this case -  like raising minimum wage, this is an issue that were the President to push it and Senators also would actually INCREASE base turnout and might also motivate some independents.

    "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it, because what the world needs is more people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman

    by teacherken on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:52:14 AM PDT

  •  NRA's idea of a Surgeon General (7+ / 0-)

    would be George Patton- heavy on the General and light on the Surgeon.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:52:45 AM PDT

  •  Bummer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tom Seaview

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 08:06:27 AM PDT

  •  Hypocritical oath! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simplify

    "Looking back over a lifetime, you see that love was the answer to everything." — Ray Bradbury

    by We Shall Overcome on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 08:10:59 AM PDT

  •  So long as he calles mara-ju-wanna the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Norm in Chicago, freakofsociety

    Demon Weed with Roots in Hell, he'll be fine.

    Get your priorities straight: people act like guns are worser than mara-ju-wanna. (just because guns kill 30000 people a year and pot doesn't kill anybody is beside the point. There are things worse than death - such as being high and enjoying your weekend.)

    Legal means "good".
    [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

    by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 08:12:20 AM PDT

  •  His opinion (9+ / 0-)

    regarding guns as a public health issue is hardly a radical one, my bet is that plenty of ER docs and ICU intensivists would agree along with trauma surgeons. And the surgeon general is actually supposed to have opinion about public health issues.

  •  Gun control, or even gun politics is not (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PJEvans, Norm in Chicago, Wisdumb

    something that I want to be the predominant characteristic that the Surgeon General is known for.  I've heard nothing about him other than his anti gun stance and that can't be blamed entirely on the NRA.

    "It's not surveillance, it's data collection to keep you safe"

    by blackhand on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 08:47:53 AM PDT

    •  That's because (14+ / 0-)

      the NRA has blown this up into an issue. It's not his predominant characteristic. It's the thing that the NRA is making an issue.

      You want to know more about him? Research him. Start here.

      Murthy excelled academically early on. He graduated as valedictorian from Miami Palmetto Senior High School in Pinecrest, Fla., in 1994, and graduated from Harvard College in three years, distinguishing himself with a magna cum laude degree in biochemical sciences in 1997, according to officials at both schools. He then earned a combined medical and business degree from Yale, and about a decade ago, began working at Brigham and Women’s, first as an intern and now as a hospitalist. His supervisors at the Brigham describe him in outsized glowing terms, emphasizing they are not just praising him because they want him to win confirmation. [...]

      His job at the Brigham is part-time, largely so he can devote energies to his other professional interests. Those include TrialNetworks, a software start-up company in Needham that he founded in 2007, to help drug developers efficiently collect information from clinical trials. In 1995, he founded VISIONS Worldwide, a nonprofit dedicated to AIDS and HIV education in India.

      In the past five years, his work mobilizing the medical profession around Obama’s universal health care law has been a prime focus. In an article in Hospitalist News in January 2012, he gave his thoughts about why he helped start Doctors for Obama in 2008, which worked to get Obama elected and was later reborn as Doctors for America. He said he was “struck by how few physicians were organizing and gathering their ideas to actually make an impact on the candidates’ platforms and, ultimately, on a health reform bill.”

      "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

      by Joan McCarter on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:03:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  from a diary 3/16 (11+ / 0-)

      Murthy is a physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and a Hospitalist Attending Physician and Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is also a founder and president of Doctors for America, a group of 15,000 physicians and medical students supporting Obama in advocating for policy that would provide Americans with more affordable, accessible healthcare.

      In 2011, Murthy was appointed by U.S. President Barack Obama to serve on the U.S. Presidential Advisory Council on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The group advises the National Prevention Council on developing strategies and partnerships to advance the nation's health.

      Murthy also has experience in creating information technology solutions to medical-related problems. He is co-founder and chairman of TrialNetworks, a cloud-based Clinical Trial Optimization System for pharmaceutical and biotechnology trials that improves the quality and efficiency of clinical trials to bring new drugs to market faster and more safely. He founded the company as Epernicus in 2008 to originally be a collaborative networking web platform for scientists to boost research productivity.

      Since 1995, he has also been a leader in H.I.V. prevention and AIDS education, co-founding and serving as president and chairman of a non-profit organization, Visions Worldwide, focused on that mission in the U.S and in India.He has been a prominent supporter of Obama's healthcare law.

      Nomination for Surgeon General
      Murthy was nominated by President Obama for the post of United States Surgeon General. Murthy's nomination was opposed by Senator Rand Paul and other Republicans who placed a hold on Murthy's nomination due to prior statements on gun control.

      He seems eminently qualified.

      Why Is the NRA Deciding Who Should Be Surgeon General?

  •  Sanjay Gupta for Surgeon General. /nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cosette

    We are all pupils in the eyes of God.

    by nuclear winter solstice on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 08:52:00 AM PDT

  •  "Calibration" is going to salvage the nomination (5+ / 0-)

    Unfortunately I don't see anything in this diary that indicates an attempt to salvage the good doctor's nomination.  A more accurate title to the diary would be "needs to" salvage, rather than "trying".

    What I see, up to this point, is an attempt to salvage the PR story line surrounding another botched White House nomination.  

    On the one hand, there's a strong case to be made that Dr Murthy should never have been nominated.  Not in 2014, not in an election year where we must realize that our need to hold onto the Senate is reaching desperation level.  Did anyone on the White House team who staffed this decision take that into account?  If not, then we really need a house cleaning among Obama's White House advisors.  

    On the other hand, once you make the decision to nominate a highly qualified candidate, you back him up!!!  Joan closed her diary with

    or President Obama stepping in and personally lobbying Democrats to grow a spine.
    Not a realistic option.  President Obama really can't lobby Democrats to grow a spine, when he hasn't displayed any spine on this issue himself.  

    Dont Mourn, Organize !#konisurrender

    by cks175 on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:19:52 AM PDT

    •  Needlessly self-inflicted injury. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cks175, Wisdumb
      On the one hand, there's a strong case to be made that Dr Murthy should never have been nominated.  Not in 2014, not in an election year where we must realize that our need to hold onto the Senate is reaching desperation level.
      The Surgeon General isn't a particularly powerful position, and there's any number of qualified candidates.  Why make your own party make dangerous votes for something that isn't all that important?
  •  How old is he? He looks so very young. (0+ / 0-)
  •  Easy peasy. (0+ / 0-)

    BO should just replace all of the US agency heads in the US with right-wingers in exchange for this nomination.  I'm sure the repubs would agree to the bargain.

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 06:42:17 PM PDT

  •  By any sensible definition, the NRA (0+ / 0-)

    is a terrorist organization.

    I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony

    by pajoly on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 06:56:09 PM PDT

  •  So what the h@#$ do they want, a Surgeon General (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    freakofsociety, pashber, FogCityJohn

    who advocates for guns?  The same guns that kill people?  People who the Surgeon General is supposed to protect?

    This is beyond stupid.

    If there is anyone in congress who bows to this pressure, we might as well turn the running of Congress over to the NRA.

    And they want to know why people stay at home and don't vote.  Things like this just make people want to throw up their hands and give up on government.

    Do not let them get away with it.

  •  So sick of stories like this about Democrats (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    freakofsociety, HCKAD

    And they wonder why the Democratic label inspires so few to vote?

    The Democorporate faction of the party uses the Far Right as its excuse for moving further right.

    by masswaster on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 06:58:20 PM PDT

    •  Me, too. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Simplify, HCKAD
      So sick of stories like this about Democrats.  And they wonder why the Democratic label inspires so few to vote?
      If the elected Democrats can't vote for someone because of "one thing" they don't like, then how do they expect the Dem voters to vote for them if they've done something the voter doesn't like.  Geesh.

      Dallasdoc: "Snowden is the natural successor to Osama bin Laden as the most consequential person in the world, as his actions have the potential to undo those taken in response to Osama."

      by gooderservice on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:03:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh, fcol. This is ridiculous. (0+ / 0-)

    They are so afraid of their own shadow.

    I hate to admit it, though, but I don't even know who the previous Surgeon General was.  Don't remember hearing or reading anything from them.  

    Dallasdoc: "Snowden is the natural successor to Osama bin Laden as the most consequential person in the world, as his actions have the potential to undo those taken in response to Osama."

    by gooderservice on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:02:05 PM PDT

  •  Have you ever seen a group of people more afraid (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nocynicism

    of deadly things like words [gasp!] and data [horrors!] than these gun runners?

    Signature (this will be attached to your comments)

    by here4tehbeer on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:07:43 PM PDT

  •  This is the type of insanity that should make sane (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nocynicism, HCKAD

    people scream.

    Yes! It is an important public health issue when emergency rooms and trauma centers are filled with children, or adults, whose only unhealthy habit was stepping into the path of a bullet.

    •  I am so tired of these rightwing bastards (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HCKAD

      Trying to force this country to see everything through their twisted eyes is getting really old.
      We have got to change the sick gun culture in this country.  The carnage will only get worse.

      We are not powerless!! "Activism is the rent I pay for living on this planet."– Alice Walker

      by nocynicism on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:42:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Time to (0+ / 0-)

    Move on. He's toast. Another casualty of Washington politics.

    You best believe it does

    by HangsLeft on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:14:32 PM PDT

  •  Guns are not a public HEALTH issue (3+ / 0-)

    Guns can be labeled a public SAFETY issue sure, but not HEALTH.

    Health means biology, cell function, disease, nutrition, etc.  Health means infection, vaccines, surgery.  Health is inside the scope of medicine.  Safety, strictly speaking, is not.

    A steep cliff is not a health issue.  A car is not a health issue.  Criminal acts are not health issues.  There are lots and lots of things that can get people hurt and killed, but addressing those things is NOT a doctor's responsibility.

    Guns don't spread disease, they don't affect biological function in anyway, except through their intended function.  And that is law enforcement, not medicine.

    But I'll ask Dr. Murthy this:
    Since he wants all AR-15s banned after Sandy Hook, is it his medical opinion that everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE, who is diagnosed with Asperger's is medically, fundamentally incapable of every having a gun?  Does a diagnosis of Asperger's mean a revocation of all Constitutional rights, or just some?  And which ones?  I'd like to see someone say that out loud, if it really is a public health issue under medical scope.

    •  You are aware that this is already law (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      freakofsociety, FogCityJohn

      Doctors in most states are potentially culpable if they do not let the police know that a homicidal or suicidal patient is seeking a gun license.

      And lack of capacity for any reason can abridge rights.

      And the AR-15s would be banned for everyone, not just those with potentially psychotic presentations.

      You're either sleep deprived to conflate these things, or a paid shill.  Go to sleep.

      For those of you who prefer Bartlett to Obama, re-watch the West Wing. For those who prefer Clinton, re-watch old news videos.

      by Ptolemy on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:52:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Guns seem to make people crazy (0+ / 0-)

      So yea, health issue.  :)

      The Republican party has become the politburo of capitalism. It seeks to direct the direction this country is going NO MATTER WHAT WE THE PEOPLE THINK.

      by tarminian on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 03:33:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Are you aware how silly that is? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Norm in Chicago

        Anyone who claims that guns make people crazy is as bad as the people who claim that a vagina makes people inferior.

        •  guns don't make you crazy (0+ / 0-)

          being crazy makes you want to own a lot of guns.

          two paths, same destination.

          "Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand." - Mark Twain

          by GrimReefa on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 08:22:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  There is a distinction. (0+ / 0-)

            Talk to a running enthusiast and I imagine you'll see a variety of athletic shoes in the closet. One for warmer dry days, because that pair breathe. A different pair for cooler dry days. Two other pairs for corresponding wet-ish days. Then maybe variations for soft surface or hard surface or loose surface. Combine those very simple differences in where the enthusiast will be running and you have 12 different pairs of athletic shoes, before you start to factor in how worn in any pair is and other things of which I am unaware.

            Apply that to guns. You'll get a large game gun, medium game and small game gun, plus a shotgun for larger game and unless it has a removable barrel there may be a different shotgun of a different length, and another shotgun of a different gauge. There's six already. You'll want to be competent, so maybe two or three more in a small caliber of bullet that is cheap so you can practice and keep yourself competent - that bumps the list up to 8-ish just for rifle size long guns. Then you move into pistols, with variations based on caliber and shape and size. The three traits interact with each other in surprising ways. Not to mention getting duplicates in a small cheap caliber to make practice more possible.

            Truthfully, the ar15 actually reduces gun sales because you just swap out the top. It's nicknamed a lego gun for a reason. No need to buy a second rifle when the one you have is adjustable - but that scare black plastic shoulder stock makes people afraid and has been banned so... No need to buy a third gun because the one you have can just swap out the caliber but people are fearful of the "assault" look so it has been banned... We mock the right wing for voting against their interests but the fearful left does the same thing in some ways.

      •  Same question for you then (0+ / 0-)

        If guns make people crazy, then we must disarm the police, right?  There's more than enough evidence that they are not immune from going crazy. It must be the guns. And the police are around guns more than any civilian, so they must all be nuts by now.

    •  Tramatic injuries are a health issue. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stitchingasfastasIcan

      "The economy and the environment are, in fact, permanently intertwined. A healthy economy depends on a healthy environment. Can't have one without the other." -- Meteor Blades

      by politically indigo on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 04:31:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Frankly the administration's advocacy for (0+ / 0-)

    this nomination was appalling. The only thing I ever heard about Dr. Murthy's views and qualifications were about his views on gun control. The impression one gathered, and not just from Fox News, was that the man was a fanatic about gun control who spent all his time ranting about it.

    •  What? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      freakofsociety

      I'm a fellow founding member of Docs for America, and Vivek only talked about guns once, when Florida forebade doctors from discussing gun safety with their patients.  He tweeted a few times about it, but he's hardly outside the kinds of things that 90% of the population would like to see enacted.

      You're not very well informed.  

      However, there is some good news here, everyone.  The very fact that the NRA was the attack dog here, and not the Koch brothers (Docs for America was a big proponent in Congress for the ACA) means that the ACA has won.  They couldn't bring down Vivek for being an advocate for Obamacare.

      For those of you who prefer Bartlett to Obama, re-watch the West Wing. For those who prefer Clinton, re-watch old news videos.

      by Ptolemy on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:47:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'd like to ask you a question. (0+ / 0-)

        I'm serious here, you are the FIRST person where several things intersect at the topic of florida's doctor gun law that I have come across.

        I have a viewpoint that the law was largely correct, based on this rationale built like so...

        ("you" is meant loosely, not ptolemy specifically)

        To practice medicine in an area, one must submit to a licensing process. This is intended to protect the public from quacks and charlatans.

        Such a license from the general public means that the person so licensed is not free to discriminate against a segment of that public.

        Where the letter of the law falls short, in my opinion, is that at this point it uses a list of 'protected classes'. This, I think, allows people to abdicate their obligation to think critically and instead gives them the ability to hand their self-determination over to the list. They can say "I'm not doing wrong, I'm following the list!" We can see this in the defense of being evil toward gays by the dodge that they aren't on the list of protected classes.

        But the underlying concept rings true, to me. Simply, if you sign up to provide a good or service to the general public, then you are NOT permitted to pick and choose whom among that public you will allow to be your 'customer'. If you sign up to run a woolworth lunch counter, you can't pick and choose your customers according to skin color, for example. Rights to legal objects cannot be infringed upon by you, imho. If you sign up to be a pharmacist, you should not be allowed to pick and choose which people are allowed to receive birth control pills.

        I believe that if you sign up to do anything for the general public, then your personal choice in many matters has been willingly waived by you regarding your dealings with the general public. The general public comes in many sizes and shapes and colors and beliefs and capabilities and in too many traits to be listed - and to separate the public into two groups where one group will be served while the other group will be denied is the core of what discrimination is.

        So my question is this -
        Ptolemy, do you believe as I do, that a person who has signed up to provide the general public with a good/service should be forbidden from interfering with the general public's constitutional rights?

        And if so, how do you justify discrimination against a gun owner while denouncing discrimination against a contraception owner?

        Furthermore, I read the florida law. You missed a couple/few bits that explicitly allowed gun safety talks. What it did do was draw a line to prohibit discriminatory behavior. Change 'gun' to 'contraception' and a bit of rephrasing, would protect women's right to birth control pills in texas.

        •  obligation to refer ... (0+ / 0-)

          Licensed physicians are obligated to refer out patients who don't want to follow any of the recommendations that the physician thinks are safe.  You can be sued by families or lose your license if you don't do this.  The idea is that sometimes we need to be fired by several doctors before we realize we're gambling with our health.  And it works.
          Moreover, if I ask a question relevant to safety in a suicidal patient, he can refuse to answer but I have to assume that he then has means to quickly kill himself, and strongly consider hospitalization.  If the state forbids me from asking, this puts me in a ridiculously risky position.  Same with pediatricians and discussion of gun locks.  We are expected by the society through courts and licensing to be paternalistic to the best of our ability.  If we don't have the ability to get info, we still end up potentially on the hook.  

          For those of you who prefer Bartlett to Obama, re-watch the West Wing. For those who prefer Clinton, re-watch old news videos.

          by Ptolemy on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 06:08:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh will you READ THE LAW?!?! (0+ / 0-)

            Florida statutes, chapter 790.338

            http://www.leg.state.fl.us/...

            YOU ARE NOT FORBIDDEN FROM ASKING!

            (1) A health care practitioner licensed under chapter 456 or a health care facility licensed under chapter 395 may not intentionally enter any disclosed information concerning firearm ownership into the patient’s medical record if the practitioner knows that such information is not relevant to the patient’s medical care or safety, or the safety of others.
            That does not prohibit you from asking. It says that after you ask, you cannot put the answer in their records.
            (2) A health care practitioner licensed under chapter 456 or a health care facility licensed under chapter 395 shall respect a patient’s right to privacy and should refrain from making a written inquiry or asking questions concerning the ownership of a firearm or ammunition by the patient or by a family member of the patient, or the presence of a firearm in a private home or other domicile of the patient or a family member of the patient. Notwithstanding this provision, a health care practitioner or health care facility that in good faith believes that this information is relevant to the patient’s medical care or safety, or the safety of others, may make such a verbal or written inquiry.
            That does not prohibit you from asking. It says that you can go ahead and ask when you are acting in good faith.
            (3) Any emergency medical technician or paramedic acting under the supervision of an emergency medical services medical director under chapter 401 may make an inquiry concerning the possession or presence of a firearm if he or she, in good faith, believes that information regarding the possession of a firearm by the patient or the presence of a firearm in the home or domicile of a patient or a patient’s family member is necessary to treat a patient during the course and scope of a medical emergency or that the presence or possession of a firearm would pose an imminent danger or threat to the patient or others.
            That's not a prohibition on asking, it is laying out that the medics CAN ASK IF THEY ASK IN GOOD FAITH AND IT IS RELEVANT.

            To those lurking, my exasperation is because I specifically pointed out that ptolemy missed a few parts of the law and ptolemy FAILED TO CONSIDER THE POSSIBILITY HE/SHE WAS WRONG AND DOUBLE CHECK THEIR FACTS.

            Pointing out gun fact errors to the "gunz are evil" crowd is like trying to point out tax fact errors to the ayn rand fans. But I will continue, for you the lurking.

            (4) A patient may decline to answer or provide any information regarding ownership of a firearm by the patient or a family member of the patient, or the presence of a firearm in the domicile of the patient or a family member of the patient. A patient’s decision not to answer a question relating to the presence or ownership of a firearm does not alter existing law regarding a physician’s authorization to choose his or her patients.

            (5) A health care practitioner licensed under chapter 456 or a health care facility licensed under chapter 395 may not discriminate against a patient based solely upon the patient’s exercise of the constitutional right to own and possess firearms or ammunition.

            Go ahead and ask. YOU ARE NOT FORBIDDEN FROM ASKING. Just be aware that being a bigot over the answer.
            6) A health care practitioner licensed under chapter 456 or a health care facility licensed under chapter 395 shall respect a patient’s legal right to own or possess a firearm and should refrain from unnecessarily harassing a patient about firearm ownership during an examination.
            You aren't forbidden from asking. Go ahead and ask, in the pursuit of gun safety. Because if you preface your question "Is there a gun in the house" with a sentence or two about the amazing ways that children manage to get into the damndest of places that adults would not consider possible, then it will be plainly obvious that the intent behind your question will be in the good faith spirit of knowledgeable caution and catastrophe prevention rather than in the bad faith of imposing of personal beliefs on another.
            (7) An insurer issuing any type of insurance policy pursuant to chapter 627 may not deny coverage, increase any premium, or otherwise discriminate against any insured or applicant for insurance on the basis of or upon reliance upon the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition or the lawful use or storage of a firearm or ammunition. Nothing herein shall prevent an insurer from considering the fair market value of firearms or ammunition in the setting of premiums for scheduled personal property coverage.
            Regardless of the letter of the law, it would be bigotry for chick fil a to charge gays higher premiums just for being gay. It would be bigotry for hobby lobby to charge their female employees higher 'employee contribution' fees for health care just because they have vaginas. And it would be bigotry for an insurance company to charge higher premiums from gun owners simply for being gun owners.
            (8) Violations of the provisions of subsections (1)-(4) constitute grounds for disciplinary action under ss. 456.072(2) and 395.1055.
            Bigotry is a crime. Don't be a bigot.
            Go ahead and ask about gun safety in good faith, but respect that your patients are fully formed adults. The right wing should not be allowed to force their personal opinions on others to interfere with legal rights, and it is just as wrong for a doctor to force their personal opinion about guns on others thus interfering with legal rights.

            ('you' is sometimes used loosely, not targeting ptolemy)

            However, Ptolemy never did answer my questions:

            So my question is this -
             Ptolemy, do you believe as I do, that a person who has signed up to provide the general public with a good/service should be forbidden from interfering with the general public's constitutional rights?

            And if so, how do you justify discrimination against a gun owner while denouncing discrimination against a contraception owner?

            ?????
            •  What happens if I don't document answers (0+ / 0-)

              The medical record doesn't reflect I asked the question.   That's not helpful if the next psychiatrist is weighing whether to discharge the patient.

              It's not that guns are evil.  I would want to know if my suicidal patients have a stockpile of Tylenol.  My brother asks his pediatric patients' families about all manner of household safety.

              No one passes laws about those questions.   And no, the right to bear arms cannot mean no one can ever know about the arms in any circumstances.   That's not in the text of the amendment anywhere.

              For those of you who prefer Bartlett to Obama, re-watch the West Wing. For those who prefer Clinton, re-watch old news videos.

              by Ptolemy on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 12:28:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You seem to be commenting in bad faith. (0+ / 0-)

                Did you bother to read the law? I went to the trouble of finding it and showing it to you, and you couldn't be bothered to fill in the blank spots you have in your information?

                That right there, that failure to even fix your own lack of information, that is why second amendment supporters stop bothering to even attempt to communicate with those who apparently feel differently.

                Go back and read the comment where I quoted the sections of the florida law. If you had bothered to read it before, you would not have mentioned your pediatrician brother because I have an entire paragraph that is relevant to him in there.

                You asked, I answered. I have better things to do than sit here all night repeating the answer over and over.

            •  the real motivation behind this law>>> (0+ / 0-)

              "...And it would be bigotry for an insurance company to charge higher premiums from gun owners simply for being gun owners."

              no, actually, it would be good business practice for any insurance co. that wanted to remain profitable to charge higher premiums on gun owners, just as they would charge higher risk groups such as diabetics and persons with hep C higher rates ---considering these facts...>>>>

              Gun death rates are 7 times higher in the states with the highest compared with the lowest household gun ownership. (Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard Injury Control Research Center, 2009).

              The risk of homicide is three times higher in homes with firearms (Kellermann, 1993, p. 1084).

              An estimated 41% of gun-related homicides and 94% of gun-related suicides would not occur under the same circumstances had no guns been present (Wiebe, p. 780).  

               A gun in the home is more likely to be used in a homicide, suicide, or unintentional shooting than to be used in self-defense.Every time a gun injures or kills in self-defense, it is used:

              11 times for completed and attempted suicides (Kellermann, 1998, p. 263).
              7 times in criminal assaults and homicides, and
              4 times in unintentional shooting deaths or injuries.

              but that 's all irrelevant, of course, because none of that matters to either you or the NRA---clearly, all that  matters is avoiding personal or corporate responsiblity, and keeping insurance rates and legal liability low or nonexistent....

              what a country

               

            •  You just don't want your doctor to be able to ask (0+ / 0-)

              you how many guns you own. He might think you are a gun nut, and then what would happen?

              "The economy and the environment are, in fact, permanently intertwined. A healthy economy depends on a healthy environment. Can't have one without the other." -- Meteor Blades

              by politically indigo on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 05:05:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Well, excuuuuse me! I suppose that if I (0+ / 0-)

        pored over the Docs for American newsletter I would have been better informed on Dr. Murthy's views. I plead guilty to being about as concerned about Surgeon General nominations as I am about Postmaster General nominations.

        My point was that the administration either failed to provide information on Dr. Murthy's work on HIV/AIDS, clinical software and other fields, or the information didn't make it into general public knowledge. The narrative very quickly narrowed to his views on gun control, which he seemed to be far from shy about talking about. Unfortunately, he found out that when it comes to the NRA, the old adage "F--k with the bull and you get the horn" still is true.

  •  F*ck the NRA (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    freakofsociety, pashber, gmfp

    Really - the NRA has grown into something akin to a domestic terrorist organization wanting to arm people of all ages - 10 year old kids to old senile and half blind 80 year olds. I come from a family of gun owners with ancestors from south asia and we can't understand the need for the NRA to protest background checks and high ammunition magazines. At the same time the NRA gun nuts continue to bully and intimidate the already spineless politicians.

    How I would love to see NRA gun nuts come face to face with their fellow brethren on the streets of Pakistan or the Taliban. Lets see who has the bigger gun then.

  •  Where the hell are Bloomberg and friends? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    freakofsociety

    Why aren't the gun safety orgs helping out Vivek here?  This is really cowardice on the part of a few Democratic senators and shameful abandonment on the part of the gun safety orgs.

    Well, perhaps it's time for the progressive Docs orgs to bigfoot the gun lobby.  Some people will buy goods from their gun dealer in fear, but everyone wants their doc to save them from doom.

    If the NRA wins this, they may have made the one powerful enemy they cannot afford ... physicians.

    For those of you who prefer Bartlett to Obama, re-watch the West Wing. For those who prefer Clinton, re-watch old news videos.

    by Ptolemy on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:56:19 PM PDT

  •  The NRA is pure evil. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HCKAD

    N/A

    "Disappointment is anger for wimps," -Dr. Gregory House

    by freakofsociety on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 08:37:09 PM PDT

  •  Soon the coroner won't be able (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HCKAD, tarminian, gmfp

    to report that a gunshot victim was  killed by a bullet. It was undoubtedly the result of some careless person brazenly jumping into the path of an oncoming legally moving bullet and thus the bullet felt threatened and had to stand its ground.

  •  What flu viruses need (0+ / 0-)

    is a lobby.

    Then anyone who would be for vaccination against flu would be unacceptable in a public-health post.

  •  NRA (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stitchingasfastasIcan

    I am sick to death of the NRA.  Go shut the h,,l up!

  •  Confirm DR. Murthy as U.S. Surgeon General (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stitchingasfastasIcan

    I AM, AND HAVE FOR THE PAST 55 YEARS OWNED GUNS AND HUNTED.  I USE TO BE A MEMBER OF THE NRA, BUT THEIR RADICAL RIGHT WING IDEAS DROVE ME TO RESIGN MY LIFE-TIME MEMBERSHIP.

    PLEASE GET ACTIVE AND WRITE TO YOUR SENATORS ASKING THEM TO VOTE YES AND TO ONFIRM THIS MAN TO THIS POSITION.  YOU CAN SUPPORT THE SECOND AMENDMENT AND STILL ADVOCATE FOR BETTER CONTROLS OF PEOPLE WITH GUNS AS I DO.

    CONTACT SENATORS AT:  http://www.senate.gov/...

  •  These Seven Democratic Senators (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stitchingasfastasIcan

    are pathetic, weak-kneed politicians who don't have the political courage to support this nominee. They would rather vote in a manner that allows them to be reelected rather than vote for the needs of our nation. They disgust me to no end. They make me want to vomit.

  •  Dr. Murthy In (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stitchingasfastasIcan

    "President Obama stepping in and personally lobbying Democrats to grow a spine."

  •  The WH should not be "trying to salvage" this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stitchingasfastasIcan

    nomination. The WH should be fighting hard and giving NO quarter to the NRA, not under any circumstances. This is despicable.

  •  The Democrats' worst enemy is...Democrats! n/t (0+ / 0-)

    All that is necessary for the triumph of the Right is that progressives do nothing.

    by Mystic Michael on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 06:31:27 PM PDT

  •  Of course, keeping my guns is good for my health.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stitchingasfastasIcan

    ..it's just not very healthy for children, parents, students, people in movie theaters and offices, university and college students, teachers, marathon runners and their fans…..

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