Friday, July 13, 2012

Pro-Death Florida Legislators Shot Down - a Follow-up

This is a brief follow-up to my post of May 25, 2011, Pro-death Florida Legislators Run Amokabout a recently-enacted Florida law prohibiting health care practitioners from even discussing health care concerns about gun ownership with their patents. 

The law would have prohibited a pediatrician, for example, from discussing gun safety issues with the parents of the child. 

It had absolutely nothing to do with Second Amendment gun ownership rights (which I favor).

This just in (Psychiatric News, 7/6/12):

Judge Says Doctors Can't Be Barred From Discussing Guns

Florida physicians will again be able to ask their patients about the presence of guns in their homes now that a federal judge has ruled illegal a state law barring physicians from discussing the subject. Judge Marcia Cooke said the law violates the freedom-of-speech protections in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Florida Psychiatric Society and other physician organizations challenged the law, which was introduced by gun advocates in the state legislature who claimed that asking patients about gun possession violated the Second Amendment protection of the right to bear arms. The law made such discussions a felony and passed by a wide margin in the Republican-controlled legislature.

Psychiatrists and others argued that asking patients about the presence of guns in their homes would help them evaluate whether patients might pose a danger to themselves or the community and that such discussions would go a long way toward preventing suicides. They maintained as well that the law illegally infringed on the doctor-patient relationship by interfering with their ability to provide the medical care their patients might require. Cooke said in her ruling that censoring what physicians could talk about during medical visits has had a "chilling" effect on medical care. "What is curious about this law," she said, "is that it aims to restrict a practitioner's ability to provide truthful, non-misleading information to a patient, whether relevant or not at the time of the consult with the patient." The Florida Department of Health hasn't announced whether it will appeal the ruling.

1 comment:

  1. "it aims to restrict a practitioner's ability to provide truthful, non-misleading information to a patient"

    Where is this information you mention coming from?
    Is it a pretend "safety" group such as MAIG, or is it a group which actually promotes & teaches firearm safety, such as the NRA?

    How much training in firearm safety do most doctors or nurses get in school?
    How about in-services or continuing education?

    What will their malpractice insurance company think when it finds out they've been operating outside the scope of their practice & training?
    Would they cover a claim based on giving information about a subject for which the person has no training?

    If the discussion went something like, "I see you say you have a child. Here are some common household hazards & how to mitigate them", that's fine.
    It's not recording what the person says they have in their home (firearm, 5-gallon bucket, car, knife, pool), it's presenting a range of safety information and letting the client take what's needed.

    Better yet, have information sheets in the waiting room, or exam rooms. Make sure they're from reputable sources & unbiased.