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The Politicization of Medicine

Stanford School of Medicine highlights:

Children are safest in homes without guns, the AAP statement notes. It adds that pediatricians should tell parents that storing guns properly (unloaded, in a locked cabinet, with ammunition locked up separately) is the next-best option, providing substantial protection against suicides and unintentional gun injuries to children and teenagers when compared to storing firearms unlocked and loaded.

I don’t really have a problem with physicians speaking about guns in the home in the context of other potential household dangers, many of which kill more kids each year than guns. One should beware of owning pools, bathtubs, and 5 gallon buckets. But singling out guns as a unique danger, or suggesting they be removed from the home, is using the medical profession to promote a political agenda. I think doctors, many of which are gun owners, need to start speaking out about the politicization of their profession in manners like this.

22 Responses to “The Politicization of Medicine”

  1. Bryan S. says:

    Doctors should know that education is a better solution than sheer avoidance and ignorance.

  2. Harold says:

    is using the medical profession to promote a political agenda

    And that’s a boundary violation.

  3. Robb Allen says:

    Even worse, since your records are electronic and doctors are asking about guns in the home, this goes into a permanent record that you have no control over. This is why we have this stupid law here in Florida trying to stop this crap.

    I see Dr’s revert to the “it’s a safety question, just like seat belts, helmets, and kitchen chemicals” meme, but that dog don’t hunt since there’s no registry on if I keep Drano under the sink or not.

    And I hear there’s bitching and moaning about 1A issues, but from my understanding, doctors are not allowed to discuss financial or romantic opportunities with their patients and they seem ok with that.

    In a perfect world, if a doctor bugged me about that, I’d just find another doctor and that’d be the end of it. But since they’re putting this on your perm. record, well now there’s a problem.

    • Harold says:

      doctors are not allowed to discuss financial or romantic opportunities with their patients

      The latter is the classic boundary violation, generally with mental health “professionals” (scare quotes because the violators aren’t very professional).

      However, I have to wonder, what’s our specific fear in getting into these particular systems? I should check, but I don’t think they’re linked in that way (and Harry Reid put some protections in Obamacare WRT to this sort of thing), and even if they are, how many of us are totally off the radar as gun owners? I mean, are you using your own name, “Robb Allen”? Using a trustworthy VPN? Ever subscribed to a gun magazine or been a member of the NRA? Ever used a credit or debit card at a gun store, mail order/web shop? Etc.

      Now comes the questions of practicality. There are a lot of us, I assume more than half the country (since I expect under-reporting in the surveys). How would the powers that be abuse that knowledge in a way that wouldn’t result in career ending blowback?

  4. motomed says:

    I’m in medical school at a place as liberal as anywhere, they’ve never told me to ask about guns unless I’m dealing with a psych patient, in which case I totally get it. In general I don’t think this actually comes up very often at all, doctors don’t have the time to ask all the relevant questions they’d like to ask, most of them don’t waste their time asking garbage that deep down they know doesn’t matter…. nor do they spend much time worrying about guidelines from organizations that don’t actually deal with the nuts and bolts of treatment. hard enough to keep up with those recommendations. not saying it isn’t a stupid recommendation, just saying that most doctors don’t get too worked up about this kind of stuff because they know how little it actually works it’s way into practice.

    PS: most of my shooting buddies are other med students or physicians…. I’m taking a classmate to the range tomorrow who I’m certain has never even seen a gun in person.

    • Ian Argent says:

      I was asked whether I had guns, twice, by my pediatrician. The second time with the lead-in “of course, you don’t have them.” (I was so flabbergasted by the first question that silence was taken for a negative.)

      • Harold says:

        Note the article is about the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and they or another pediatrics group are notorious for this.

        WRT to motomed’s comment, I have to wonder if their time constraints are a little different than that of a GP/family practitioner/internist.

        Flip side: when I started actively hunting, my father’s major adult hunting partner was a pediatrician who was met through my mom changing us to his practice. Although that was no doubt in large part to him growing up on a farm. That practice grew and grew, my father became their business manager along with some other doctor’s offices, and none of the other pediatricians had any difficultly with the two’s hobby.

        On the other hand, that was all back in the ’70s (I left for college at the end of the decade) … and I would expect anti-gun doctors in general would avoid this little corner of Red State heaven….

  5. Braden Lynch says:

    If we do not vote out the POTUS and Obamacare stands, you can be sure it will be used as a means of limiting your Second Amendment rights.

    They will use some nonsense about safety, lead exposure, previous antidepressant use and as a stealth registry to limit our rights.

    • Harold says:

      Maybe so, but can you get more specific about the mechanism and details? And how as I mentioned above it can be implemented without enraging more than half of the population, with career ending results for those responsible, if not our entire ruling class (if they try pulling this along with all the other stupid things they’ve been doing)?

      • Robb Allen says:

        Harold,

        One of our board members’ father was threatened to have his Medicare benefits cut if he refused to detail his firearm collection and its storage.

        Not everyone is as ‘out’ about who they are as I am. I’m a board member for Florida Carry and an activist. It benefits me to have my name known, but then again I’ve been open about my identity since the 90’s. I work in an industry where there aren’t enough workers so I have little to no issue finding a job. When I was laid off a few years ago, I was unemployed for a total of 7 days while I got to *choose* where I wanted to work. So, being open about being a gun owner is not a detriment to me.

        Doesn’t work the same for everyone else.

        As for the culling of stupid politicians, sadly it’s not a single event that’s going to get that to work. We die by millions of papercuts and it’s difficult to get people enraged over a single cut. It’s the total that does us in.

        • Harold says:

          Who made that threat?

          That’s not something within a single doctor’s power, it would have to be done at the level of, say, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

          While someone sufficiently … elderly might have trouble doing it. at least in real time, the proper response if a doctor demanded that would be “Hell, no, you’re fired”, filing a claim with the local medical board, and if he dared charge for the appointment walked out of, sending a fraud complaint to the CMS.

          As for death by “millions of papercuts”, that’s what advocacy is for. When doctors try to pull garbage like this, it should be nationwide news in our grassroots, sunlight is the best disinfectant and all that. What I’m saying here is that if the powers that be tried to apply the thumbscrews to millions of gun owners we deserve to lose if we accept it quietly instead of making enough of a fuss that it’s heard in due course in Washington.

          Ah, yeah, were the House and Senate representatives of this board member’s father contacted about this? Sounds like it’s in Florida, so at least one of them should be nominally pro-gun.

          • Robb Allen says:

            The threat was made by Medicare itself with the innocuous sounding “If you fail to answer all these questions you may have your benefits terminated”.

            • Harold says:

              By “Medicare” do you mean the CMS (which administers the Medicare program), and therefore it was on paper? I’ve not heard of them normally communicating by any other means.

            • Robb Allen says:

              From the original email chain

              “I went today to a “mandatory” wellness interview at the office of my primary care doctor. I asked the gal what would happen if I refused the interview. She said my medicare benefits would be adversely affected. One of the questions was “are there firearms in your home?” I refused to answer.

              Then lots of back and forth, looking up the actual form, etc. It said the same thing about refusal could adversely affect your benefits.

              • Harold says:

                Errr … the adverse effect is the doctor wanting the $160 from Medicare, this Obamacare annual visit is most certainly not mandatory although it’s entire free to the patient.

                Now the question is, who’s questions are these? Wellness interviews do have this component:

                Review of the individual’s functional ability and level of safety, based on direct observation or the use of appropriate screening questions or a screening questionnaire, which the health professional may select from various available screening questions or standardized questionnaires designed for this purpose and recognized by national professional medical organizations. This includes at minimum review or screening for hearing impairment, ability to perform activities of daily living, fall risk and home safety.

                And that last little bit would allow for questions about guns … if Harry Reid hadn’t slipped into the bill prohibitions on that (or so was said at the time, we’d actually have to read it the bill…). But e.g. this high ranking Google hit from the American Academy of Family Physicians and the sample form they provide that’s linked in it, this section is entirely on the up and up:

                1. Was the patient’s timed Up & Go test unsteady or longer than 30 seconds?

                2. Does the patient need help with the phone, transportation, shopping, preparing meals, house-work, laundry, medications or managing money?

                3. Does the patient’s home have rugs in the hallway, lack grab bars in the bathroom, lack hand-rails on the stairs or have poor lighting?

                4. Have you noticed any hearing difficulties?

                Which is not to say that some doctors and groups aren’t engaging in anti-gun boundary violations and possibly violating the law if what we heard about Reid’s insertions was correct (of course, HHS could be ignoring that inconvenient language, and it’s Obamacare, we assume poor drafting of the language).

  6. Asdf says:

    I’ve always just left the questionnaire blank and nothing has ever come of it.

  7. sparky says:

    I’d let him know, statistically, he’s about seven times more likely to kill me than a gun.

    • Harold says:

      If you want to get personal and to the point, just before you say “You’re fired”, ask the doctor how many patients he’s accidentally killed so far in his career. (Note: I’m sympathetic to that, doctors are human and will make honest mistakes.)

    • Zermoid says:

      Hehe, statistically your kids are safer at home with your guns than in a doctor’s office with the doctor.

      That says alot about both…….

      • Harold says:

        Errr, I’m almost certain that’s not true, the statistic is after all across the entire population of patients.

        Pediatric deaths are rare (here I speak from the years of contact with pediatricians mentioned above; they very very seldom lost a patient and took it hard when they did). I’m pretty sure mistakes are less common simply because children most often present just one problem at a time; as we get older, we tend to gain more and more chronic problems, and often they interact.

  8. Zermoid says:

    What really worries me about all this is Obamacare requires doctors to have all their records on computers now, and I’m sure those computers will be accessible by govt bureaucrats in some form, making anything you say to your doctor public record at some point.
    So much for privacy.

    • Harold says:

      I’m sure those computers will be accessible by govt bureaucrats in some form

      Heh. Here speaks someone with insufficient experience in this sordid field. Trust me, this ain’t going to happen.

      Heck, even if the government sincerely tried to do this and everyone involved wanted it to succeed, the state of the art in government project management makes it very very unlikely to succeed, and the cost would be astronomical. And it would take many years.

      I could provide many examples, from the IRS to the FAA, or in health the U.K. NHS.

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