Florida Law Would Bar Doctors From Asking Parents About Guns

Florida could become the first state in the nation to bar doctors from asking parents and other patients if they have guns in their homes, a measure that opponents say endangers children and adolescents.

The Florida Legislature has passed the “Don’t Ask” bill and it now awaits the likely signature of the state’s Republican governor, Rick Scott, a supporter of gun rights. House Bill 155 generally would prohibit a physician or other health care professionals from asking patients or members of their families whether they own a firearm or have one in their home.

Supporters of the bill, including the National Rifle Association, say they want to stop doctors from invading their privacy, and are concerned the information may be used against them by insurance companies. “Simply, it’s none of their business,” Marion Hammer, executive director of United Sportsmen of Florida, told the News Service of Florida earlier this year.

State Rep. Jason Brodeur, a Republican, proposed the bill after a much-publicized incident in which an Ocala, Fla., pediatrician told the mother of a 4-month-old boy to find another doctor when she refused to answer questions about guns in her home.  Similar legislation has been proposed in Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama and North Carolina.

Opponents say doctors need to ask patients about guns in the home to make sure they are stored properly. As NPR reports, the American Academy of Pediatrics has encouraged its members for decades to ask questions about guns and how they are stored as part of well-child visits.

According to the academy, a gun in the home is 43 times more likely to kill someone known to the family than it is to kill someone in self-defense. And children and young adults are particularly at risk for accidental injury and death from guns.

“We feel that physicians will be reluctant to ask about guns in the home as a result of this legislation. As a result we expect that, unfortunately, there will be an increase in injury and death of children and adolescents due to improperly stored guns,” Dr. Louis St. Petery, a pediatrician in Tallahassee, told MyHealthNewsDaily.

The bill has an exception allowing doctors to ask about guns if the information “is relevant to the patient’s medical care or safety, or the safety of others.” But some pediatricians and other doctors say that wording is too vague to provide adequate protection.

Violators of the law can be reported to the state medical board for possible disciplinary action. In the original version of the bill, violations could have been prosecuted as a felony.

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5 comments to “Florida Law Would Bar Doctors From Asking Parents About Guns”

  1. Chris2013

    It would seem to me that living in a home with properly stored firearms is much safer than living in one with no way to protect yourself or your children. There was a case in Oklahoma a few months ago where a widow was targeted be dope heads looking to break into her home where she lived with her small children. They had read in the papers of her husbands death resulting from a long illness and were looking for leftover drugs and were armed with knives. She called 911 and said if they come in she would shoot. Well she did and was alive to give the news interviews that followed.

    If you outlaw guns then only outlaws will have guns.

  2. john

    Does this proposed Florida law prohibit doctors from just advising patients of the dangers of having a gun in the house. Of just offering the statistics of deaths and injuries in homes with guns that are not properly stored and secured? All this can be done without one question asked.

  3. Jarhead1982

    http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/pediatrics;105/4/888

    This statement reaffirms the 1992 position of the American Academy of Pediatrics that the absence of guns from children’s homes and communities is the most reliable and effective measure to prevent firearm-related injuries in children and adolescents. A number of specific measures are supported to reduce the destructive effects of guns in the lives of children and adolescents, including the regulation of the manufacture, sale, purchase, ownership, and use of firearms; a ban on handguns and semiautomatic assault weapons; and expanded regulations of handguns for civilian use. In addition, this statement reviews recent data, trends, prevention, and intervention strategies of the past 5 years.

    Abbreviations: AAP = American Academy of Pediatrics a member organization of…..

    HELP Network
    Children’s Memorial Hospital
2300 Children’s Plaza
Chicago, Illinois 60614
Phone (773) 880-3826
Fax (773) 880-6615
www.helpnetwork.org
    HELP Network was formed in 1993 and claims to be the “health voice in the national debate about handgun violence.” HELP endorses reducing civilian access to handguns, and funds research to support that agenda.

    Funded by the Joyce Foundation & George Soros and his anti gun cabal of billionaires

    Hunting incident reports

    http://www.ihea.com/news-and-events/incident-reports/index.php

    Geez in 2007 1 death and 31 injuries of under 18 yr old children

    http://www.ocala.com/article/20100724/ARTICLES/7241001/-1/news?Title=Family-and-pediatrician-tangle-over-gun-question

    Funny, how this is an example of one of those unenlightened doctors reactions and the driving force behind the law.

    Which is the following….

    Fla. State Rep. Jason Brodeur has introduced H.B. 155, which provides:
    1)(a) A verbal or written inquiry by a public or private physician, nurse, or other medical staff person regarding the ownership of a firearm by a patient or the family of a patient or the presence of a firearm in a private home or other domicile of a patient or the family of a patient violates the privacy of the patient or the patient’s family members, respectively. 
(b) A public or private physician, nurse, or other medical staff person may not condition receipt of medical treatment or medical care on a person’s willingness or refusal to disclose personal and private information unrelated to medical treatment in violation of an individual’s privacy as specified in this section. 
(c) A public or private physician, nurse, or other medical staff person may not enter any intentionally, accidentally, or inadvertently disclosed information concerning firearms into any record, whether written or electronic, or disclose such 43 information to any other source.
    A violation would be a third degree felony and could be punished with a fine “of not more than $5 million if the court determines that the person knew or reasonably should have known that the conduct was unlawful.”

    It is so dangerous, lets compare law abiding citizens licensed to conceal carry against someone safe, say a doctor, and we will not use a single NRA reference.

    ATF Max 8 million CPL’s US, approximately 186 million age 21 or older or 4.3% of the people licensed for CPL.

    Possible deaths from CPL holders in 3 year time span from Violence Policy Center report last year, 137 or 45 per year equals .00000562 per concealed license holder. You can also review Florida’s data on CCW at http://licgweb.doacs.state.fl.us/stats/cw_monthly.html it says the same thing.

    JAMA http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/286/4/415 700,000 doctors in US kill 44,000 to 98,000 by medical malpractice every year or .14 per physician.

    Physician is .065 or .14 /.00000562 = 12,000 to 25,00 times more likely to harm you than a CPL holder.

    So where is the risk from concealed carry holders and why aren’t you antis crying to ban doctors?

    Limitations

    For specific country examples see Freedom of speech by country, and Criminal speech.
    According to the Freedom Forum Organization, legal systems, and society at large, recognize limits on the freedom of speech, particularly when freedom of speech conflicts with other values or rights.[36] Limitations to freedom of speech may follow the “harm principle” or the “offense principle”, for example in the case of pornography or hate speech.[37] Limitations to freedom of speech may occur through legal sanction or social disapprobation, or both.

    Welcome to the club, 20,000 gun control laws on the books, and how many laws are there restricting the first? Get back to us when you reach that 20,000 law count!

    So now that we have established the anti gun policies of this doctors association, the reason for their question being added for no good medical reason, and how much more dangerous a doctor is to your health, we should expect the following to occur.

    We should expect them to add a notification to their questionnaire stating ” You do realize by going to see a physician, you are 12,000 to 25,000 times more likely to be killed than by a person exercising their inherent and legal right to carry a concealed firearm for self defense purposes.”

    When those egotistical elitist doctor know it all’s put that on their questionnaire, them we will agree the law needs to be nullified.

  4. USMC Limey

    Do these Dr’s also ask about the type of flooring in the house ? How about ventilation ? Do they make sure parents are using an approved child seat in the car and have it properly installed ? No, of course not. It’s just another way to single out gun owners and refuse service to us because we don’t bow to the misconception that our best bet is to hide in the closet with our cellphone and call 911.

  5. Luke Thomas

    GOOD! This is a great law! ANYTHING to help decrease the surplus population is good legislation! Remember it’s the NRA’s world and you are just living in it!

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