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There is much wailing and gnashing of teeth among physicians and medical societies, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), over the Florida law that forbids questioning patients about gun ownership. In late July, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that this was "legitimate regulation" of physicians' conduct, intended to protect "patient privacy and curtail abuses of the physician-patient relationship." Physicians who can see past the perceived insult to their autonomy would understand that this changes nothing about good care.

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JAMA article; "Physicians who own guns should... provide leadership.... in firearm safety counseling"

The JAMA ( 8/4/15, vol 314, number 5, page 449) suggested that a cultural competence approach be taken when physicians counsel patients on this topic. Suggestions already exist for requitreing cultural competence for physicians when counseling patient populations defined by ethnic heritage, religous beliefs, sexual orientation, etc., etc.

Some interesting points:
The article mentions hat in 2013, there were 33,636 deaths and 84,258 nonfatal injuries from firearms. You can go to the CDC website at CDC.GOV and check the statistics. The point not mentioned was that this statistic has declined from about 1993 to present despite the increase in gun ownership. Further, there are an estimated 13% to 41% of all physicians who own firearms.

The article acknowledges that, "Some patients who own firearms, ... may not view physicians as trustworthy sources of information about firearms. Some physicians may be uncomfortable ... because of their own unfamiliarity with guns.

Counseling is cheap, has been shown to make a difference regarding other behaviors (most notably smoking) and has the potential to improve health.

The articles suggest that
Physicians adopt respectful counseling behaviors that are individualized to the patient and routine for certain high risk populations. E.g. patients with suicide indicators or history of attempts, cognitive impairment, survivors or perpetrators of domestic violence, children in the home, etc.

The authors, Emergency Physicians, give a brief but excellent review of how we might start over and avoid the errors of the past when this topic was first broached.

ref: WISQARS (Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System)|Injury Center|CDC.
ref: Am J Public Health. 2009; 90 (10) p1626
 

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Your physician / doctor / NP / PA should not be asking you about gun ownership. It has nothing to do with your state of health. Questions regarding this type of information has no place on ANY medical forms or applications. Medical practitioners are not experts on firearms nor do they (if not certified) teach firearms safety. A medical encounter is not the proper venue for non medical questions or tests.

William E. Chapman R.N.
 

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JAMA article; "Physicians who own guns should... provide leadership.... in firearm safety counseling"
I do. I recommend taking concealed carry courses. I recommend practicing regularly. I recommend stocking up on bulk quantities of ammunition so that practicing is always an option. I recommend carrying concealed, if possible. After all...needing a firearm and not having a firearm is a real personal health issue.
 

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Tell your Doctor that in order to acquire a permit, you must pass a firearms safety course and that the certified firearms instructors probably know a lot more about the subject than a doctor would (unless the doctor happens to also be a certified firearm instructor). Where do "they" get this baloney that a doctor has any business in counseling on non-medical matters?
 

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Being from Dutchess you should know that your statement is incorrect...
But there are more counties in NYS than dutchess, and readers from other states also read this forum. The comment is valid for many whose counties require such a test. Of course if their county does not require testing, they would not bring this up. It was a general statement. Thanks anyway for being observant. I am able to accept any form of criticism, even from those who like to nitpick.
 
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