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Does White House plan enlist doctors in gun control fight?
Made popular 153 days ago in
A few lines in President Obama's sprawling gun control plan are stirring accusations from conservatives that the administration is trying to enlist doctors in a national campaign against owning firearms.
The easy-to-miss language was part of Obama's package of executive actions and legislative proposals that includes a new assault-weapons ban and universal background checks. The provision on doctors, though, has begun to generate just as much controversy.
"The idea that your doctor would ask you if you have firearms in your house as part of an examination of your health is repugnant," National Rifle Association President David Keene told Fox News on Thursday, accusing the administration of trying to "demonize firearms" by implying that owning them is a "health problem."
One of the 23 executive actions Obama approved Wednesday was to "clarify" that the federal health care overhaul "does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about gun in their homes."
An overview of the plan said "we should never ask doctors and other health care providers to turn a blind eye to the risks posed by guns in the wrong hands."
Coupled with the language on asking patients about guns was a decision to "clarify" that no federal law prevents doctors from warning law enforcement about "direct and credible threats of violence."
The latter provision is actually in line with the policy of most states. All but a few allow mental health professionals to report information about patients they believe may become violent. Of them, most have laws requiring that information to be disclosed -- New York was one of the latest to update its law to mandate that doctors report when patients might pose a danger.
Conservative columnist and Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer, who is a psychiatrist, said this language from Obama "doesn't change anything at all" -- he tried to assuage any concern about the provision.
But the line that appeared to encourage doctors to ask about guns in the home is what drew the ire of pro-gun rights lawmakers on Capitol Hill. They voiced concern that this could lead to doctors asking inappropriate and probing questions of their patients.
"President Obama has no business interjecting himself in the doctor-patient relationship by pressuring medical professionals to ask their patients what kind of guns they own in their homes. President Obama's latest executive orders give new meaning to the term 'house call,'" Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., chairman of the Republican Study Committee, said in a statement.
Rep. John Fleming, R-La., himself a physician, accused Obama of "pushing the government further into the exam room."
"He's trying to press doctors into government service by pushing them to ask patients, even child patients, if there are guns in their home. After more than thirty years of operating a family practice, I can tell you it should not be the business of a family physician to take inventory of the guns in a patient's home," he said, noting that there are already laws ensuring that doctors warn authorities about criminal activity.
Still, despite Republicans' objections, the American Psychiatric Association has actually pushed for such a clarification from the administration.
"We are glad that the president has clarified that doctors are not prohibited from asking their patients about guns in their homes," the group said.
Howard Zonana, a professor in the Yale Department of
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What would you do if your doctor asked you if you own a gun?
I would tell him to F**k off and find another one.
I'm a weak liberal and I don't like confrontation.
This is not a scientific survey,
to learn more. Results may not total 100% due to rounding and voting descrepencies.
152 days ago
1) Ownership of a gun is not relevant for a doctor to treat me.
2) The doctor-patient relationship is based on confidentiality and trust. Even if I tell him, he should not tell others about it.
But: In some other poll (http://youpolls.com/details.aspx?id=12174), the usual suspects (lastbaldeagle, lightdude, james2044) called for "lunatic control"... So, who is better suited to determine if someone is a lunatic than a doctor?
If we want to make sure that mentally disturbed people do not have access to guns, we have to take some action or live with the fact that there will always be tragic shootings every other month.
152 days ago
3) Who is the usual suspect with regards to anti Constitution gun control and claim to be a Independent? The bishinator.
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