Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Time to get a new doctor

Florida recently passed a law that prevents doctors from gathering information about firearms in the homes of their patients, unless the doctor believes that the presence of said firearms has a direct relationship to the condition that is being treated.  To no-one's surprise, the doctors have gotten a lawyer.

Now, our family doctor has been seeing us for so long that she knows a lot about our lifestyles just by osmosis. We've even talked about guns, hunting, and computers during a few visits, so she's pretty familiar with my hobbies.  Where I become a little more reserved is with doctors in the emergency department and urgent care clinics.  These doctors, for whom I have a healthy respect and am lucky to have available for emergencies and when I can't get in to see my PCP, don't know me from Adam, and vice versa.  So they get the bare minimum on anything that's not part of the problem I'm seeing them for.

If a doctor asks if there are firearms in my home, unless their presence is a factor in my malady, I won't answer.  Which I guess is pretty much a yes, but I'm not going to give them any further information than that.   I have had only one pediatrician ask Junior Bear if there were guns in his house, and I cut that off.  I also don't let my kids see a doctor without either me or Irish Woman in the room, for this and other reasons.

I guess my point is that while we shouldn't be ashamed of our hobby, we don't need to share details like what guns we have, how and where we store them, and do the children know where they are, unless of course we deem it necessary.

Now to the bigger point.  Does the government have the power to tell a medical professional which diagnostic questions may or may not be asked of a patient, assuming that a patient may refuse to answer any question?  The answer is, of course, no.  It is none of the government's business what I discuss with my doctor, or what she wants to ask me.   If the American Medical Association wants to come out with its own regulations to compel some questions and forbid others, that's a matter between the doctor, a private citizen, and the AMA, a private organization.  The Florida legislature needs to find something better to do with its time.


Nancy R. said...

I do believe when asked by the pediatrician if there were guns in the house, my response may have been something along the lines of "How else am I going to keep her safe?"

Old NFO said...

This- http://www.2asisters.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=119:physician-affidavit

Is always an option :-)

Anonymous said...

The doctor may ask, and it is inappropriate for the state to butt in. Unless, of course, the state has a medical license and is the treating physician, and so would be bound by confidentiality. Otherwise, the legislature is practicing medicine without a license. And they need to be dope-slapped.

MrG's said...

My response to any of the Dr questions about lifestyle questions is "why do you need to know?" So far they havn't asked me any firearm questions, but it will come and they will get the stone face from me. You are absolutely correct about being in the room when little bear is in the dr, my son doesn't know what OPSEC is and it is frustrating sometimes.

Joshkie said...

WTF - unless they're taking a bullet out of me WTF does having a gun or not have to do with treating me? And hopefully if they are taking a bullet out of me it isn't from one of my own. How is it even considered a diagnostic question.

Sigh.... My brain hurts,

CalvinsMom said...

Our family ped is good, and generally skips over the more inane and ridiculous comments. The one time we got another doc in the practice who asked, he got a hearty NOYFB, and a follow-up question about how many malpractice cases he's been named in.

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