I agree that they have a First Amendment right to ask. And I have a First Amendment right to say “None of your goddamned business, Doc.” I know there are a lot of doctors out there who are pro-gun, but you need to speak up against the politicization of your profession, especially given that it’s starting to look more and more like a government protected cartel.
17 thoughts on “More Meddling Doctors”
Unfortunately, the clowns that run for, and get, leadership positions in the various medical specialty groups are like the kids who ran for class president in junior high school….wankers, all. Folks much like the current demoncratic administration, or Mayor Nanny Bloomberg, they know whats best for everyone, and demand that you toe their line.
Physicians like me that actually have to treat patients regularly don’t have time for their BS, at least if I want to make a living. So, we tread a fine line between following the professional standards of our various specialties, and being sane.
Personally, I mostly leave it at “are you handling firearms safely?” when I bring it up at all.
If they have a “right” to ask about gun ownership, they also have a “right” to ask about involvement in various risky sexual practices, drug use, history of use of contraceptive drugs or abortions, and all sorts of other intrusive things that will get the left shrieking in horror.
After all, you’re less likely to die from what you do at a shooting range than what you do at a San Francisco “bath house”.
Doctors already can and do ask those sort of questions (although most have their nurses do it for them). Coming out during a medical checkup is actually more awkward than coming out for a security clearance interview, and that’s despite a strong personal distaste for casual sex.
The trick is that most of those matters are very clearly covered by HIPAA, and there’s not a lot of the very same people calling that these records be obvious proxies for political action. That’s not the case for gun ownership.
“What kinda gun do you have, doc?” and look at them like there is something wrong with them if they don’t have one.
Or, the old standby: “Why? What do you need?”
Or “I got a 12 inch gun doc!” KNUDGE KNUDGE WINK WINK
And I have the right to call it a boundary violation.
the professional medical organizations become more of a joke all the time and basically serve as conference organizing bodies for physicians who are in academic medicine and do more talking about the practice of medicine than actually practicing medicine. the majority of those in practice have little use for these organizations beyond maintaining certification (which they are beginning to fight….) and don’t listen to much of anything they have to say. If medical histories asked everything these clowns thought needed to be asked, they’d take about 2 hours…. when doctors are faced with the reality of 15 minutes of interaction on a good day, things like this get crossed off the list of questions that are actually going to be asked in a hurry.
The bigger threat to gun rights from the medical side of things is the public health “research” that is being pushed. Far too many people will hear a headline about some terribly conducted research coming out of the school of public health at Big Name Medical School and will assume their conclusions are apolitical and require action. Public health isn’t about influencing medical practitioners, it’s often about convincing the general public to do things the researchers want them to do anyway. Sad, because honest public health initiatives have saved a ton of lives and have the potential to continue to do so, but the schools are playing politics on a number of issues now and marginalizing even the good work those schools produce….
I’d be more impressed with the argument regarding their rights, as in situations discussing guns in private parking lots, were it not for the wide variety of other related matters on which they quite happily tossed those rights overboard. Professional ethics strictly muzzle doctors on a vast variety of topics, often in ways that these groups very same groups lobby about. The state often and regularly compel or restrict doctor-client speech, often in ways that would be clearly unconstitutional outside of that context.
In an ideal world, it’d be a speech regulation to get the hackles up. In /this one/, it’s not even top ten on the list.
They use the 1A to ask.
I use the 5A to remain silent without the advice of counsel.
They have a professional duty to perform services.
I have a human duty to outwardly moderate my annoyance.
The minute ObamaCare forced me to carry health insurance, doctors lost their ‘rights’ to ask me about anything without Mirandizing me first.
Is it a crime to lie to your doctor (or her nurse), when they are collecting information to send to the feds?
Why isn’t it a felony for my doctor to lie to me?
My doctor is a gun owner himself, so I never really have to worry about this issue. Just one of the benefits of living in South Carolina.
Sorry that this is so long for a comment but this behavior by a doctor is a boundary violation, as explained below.
3. DRGO ALERT TO GUN OWNERS AND THEIR FAMILIES:
Do you own a gun? How many guns do you have? Do your children have access to guns in your home? Did you know that having a gun in your home triples your risk of becoming a homicide victim?
These are questions your doctor may ask you or your children as part of routine physical examinations or questionnaires. All the gun-related questions you are likely to encounter in doctors’ offices, especially pediatricians, are based on doctor groups’ political movement against gun owners. That movement is spearheaded by the American Academy of Pediatrics, although the AMA and other physician groups have launched similar efforts against gun owners.
With a few very rare exceptions, such questions about guns do not reflect a physician’s concern about gun safety. Rather, they are intended to intimidate or prejudice impressionable and trusting children (and their parents) into thinking that guns are somehow bad.
That political motive makes these questions ethically wrong. This form of professional misconduct is known as a boundary violation. Any doctor who asks these politically motivated questions about your guns, either directly or on a questionnaire, should be disciplined.
And who can discipline the physician? You, the almighty consumer. That’s right. If you, the patient or parent, file a formal written complaint with the offending doctor’s HMO or medical group, your complaint will be taken seriously. The doctor will be asked to respond to it. In any case, your polite but firm protest will be a black mark on his or her record that will likely make him or her think twice before repeating the offense.
Patients not enrolled in a health plan (HMO) may see a private practice doctor in a small group or solo practice. Unethical behavior by such a doctor can be reported to your county medical society, which is likely to have a public service committee whose job it is to review complaints from the public. Although federal anti-trust laws have mostly stripped these committees of their enforcement powers, they can still get an erring physician’s attention.
Medicine has become an extremely competitive service industry. HMO’s and medical groups are trying harder than ever to please consumers and not anger them. The last thing a doctor wants these days, next to a malpractice suit, is a health plan member complaint alleging unethical conduct.
If the doctor persists or is especially inappropriate, you can send that formal complaint to the doctor’s state licensing board. You can search your state government’s web site to find your state’s medical licensing board. This site should describe the procedure for formal consumer complaints. Also you can look in your phone book under state government for your state Medical board’s consumer hot line. Boards generally accept only written complaints.
A consumer complaint to the medical licensing board is a last resort, and it will be a definite blemish on the doctor’s career. But it may be necessary for repeat offenders. This step will apply enormous pressure on the boundary-violating physician, even if the state board takes no official action against his or her license.
To summarize: you don’t have to suffer in silence, and you don’t have to disclose personal information about your gun ownership to politically motivated doctors. And most important, you can strike back at unethical doctors who abuse your trust to advance a political agenda against law-abiding gun owning families.
I discuss the ethical basis for all this in my article at the Claremont Institute’s web site, “Boundary Violation: Gun Politics In The Doctor’s Office.” You will find it at http://www.claremont.org/publications/wheeler7.cfm
Please save this message and forward it to others you know who have been the targets of anti-gun political activism in the doctor’s office.
Best regards, Timothy Wheeler, MD Director Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership a Project of The Claremont Institute http://www.claremont.org
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My wife got asked by her PCP.
She simply answered, and then challenged the Doctor’s talking points until the Doctor totally retreated in shame for speaking about things she knew NOTHING about.
Now I am looking forward to them asking me. I’ll be able to “shoot” right back at their questions with questions of my own, especially the “Why, what do you shoot? Do you need ammo? I probably go it”.
“I probably GOT it”.
Do not forget to ask for a complete copy of your medical records 3-4 times a year. What you want is a printout of everything they enter on you. If they claim they’ve given you that and something surfaces later you will be in a stronger legal position.
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