Forbes: "Why Doctors Should Not Ask Their Patients About Guns"


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psh
January 22, 2013, 02:11 PM
I am a physician, gun owner, and an advocate of the 2nd Amendment. I hope THR readers enjoy this piece of mine which appeared in today's Forbes.com:

Forbes: "Why Doctors Should Not Ask Their Patients About Guns (http://www.forbes.com/sites/paulhsieh/2013/01/22/why-doctors-should-not-ask-their-patients-about-guns/)" (1/22/2013)

(Please feel free to forward this onto anyone who might be interested. Thanks! --Paul Hsieh, MD)

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Artigas
January 22, 2013, 02:39 PM
Good article. What have you heard from other doctors regarding this subject?

Texan Scott
January 22, 2013, 02:48 PM
Sensibly and articulately presented. Good read, thank you.

philobeddoe
January 22, 2013, 02:56 PM
nice work

RTR_RTR
January 22, 2013, 03:01 PM
Good article, Dr. Hsieh.

I do think that the title of your article doesn't accurately represent the messages conveyed within (I disagree with your title but agree with the majority of your actual article). The disagreement within the article though depends on how you define routine. I think, besides suspected suicidal/homicidal thoughts, a good indication for asking about firearms (as well as pools, automobiles, electric outlets, tools, cleaning supplies, etc.) would include any instance of new contact with children (new parents, new grandparents, whatever). I agree that there is no need to document possession of any of these things beyond a generic "discussed safe practices."

-Naive medical student :)

CLP
January 22, 2013, 03:16 PM
There are situations when it's more than appropriate to ask. Like the med student mentioned- SI, HI, or if someone appears manic/psychotic. It's the standard of care in those situations. To routinely ask? Absolutely not. To further agree with the med student, I find it interesting how few pediatricians will ask parents about whether swimming pools are gated, if kids are using bike helmets, etc. The APA is not at all discreet about their anti-2A goals. Good article btw.

psh
January 22, 2013, 04:32 PM
Yes, excellent points RTR_RTR! If there is a specific concern about a patient, then doctors should inquire. (But then, the inquiry shouldn't be primarily about the gun but about dangers posed by any deadly implement.)

I do like the generic "discussed safe practices" record in the chart.

Atbat82
January 22, 2013, 04:49 PM
Great article. I can say I've never had a Dr ask me about gun ownership (I'm not even sure how it would come up in the course of an exam/appointment) but I don't think I'd answer. Unless to say "all my guns were lost in a tragic boating accident" (not sure who came up with that line, but I'm stealing it :)



Sent from my iPhone

Ryanxia
January 22, 2013, 04:56 PM
Good article.

abajaj11
January 22, 2013, 11:43 PM
Excellent article.
:)

k_dawg
January 24, 2013, 09:47 PM
I have no problem for a doctor especially a pediatrician with a new family, to raise basic child safety concerns: barriers to pools, household chemicals, safe firearm storage, etc. If for no other reasons many new parents are overwelmed, and may even be unaware of some potential hazards.

It would be great if they had the various NRA safety pamplets, and contact information to give to the patient.

NukemJim
January 24, 2013, 11:11 PM
"What have you heard from other doctors regarding this subject?"

The majority of MDs are either anti or for strict control. Yes there are thousands that are not but there are hundreds of thousands that are. Source: many surveys of MDs and 40 years of working in hospitals with them.

Twiki357
January 24, 2013, 11:38 PM
Excellent article. You hit the main area that is of concern to me, mainly the obama care mandated central computerized data base. There is no way to know (or prevent) access by who knows who in the future.

InkEd
January 25, 2013, 01:18 AM
The answer to any doctor that does ask about should receive a polite "No." as the response.

BHP FAN
January 25, 2013, 03:20 AM
I liked the swimming pool analogy. Bathtubs as well. The bathroom in your house is many times more dangerous than your gunsafe, or it's contents, yet you never hear of ''Mothers Who Want to Ban Bathtubs''....

Yoda
January 25, 2013, 06:08 AM
Superb

CLP
January 25, 2013, 09:19 AM
I liked the swimming pool analogy. Bathtubs as well. The bathroom in your house is many times more dangerous than your gunsafe, or it's contents, yet you never hear of ''Mothers Who Want to Ban Bathtubs''....
No, but I'm sure there are plenty of children that do!

RetiredUSNChief
January 25, 2013, 09:51 AM
Nice article! Thanks!

wooly bugger
January 25, 2013, 10:44 AM
Great article.

I'm a physician, gun owner, and 2nd amendment advocate. Most physicians are anti-gun, but there are plenty of exceptions.

I agree with the above posts that in case of suicidal or homicidal ideation, there is a duty to determine if the patient has the means; and that includes asking about guns in the home.

Other than that, I don't think guns should be treated any differently than any other home safety issue. If you ask about guns, then ask about the other more dangerous things around the house and give recommendations on safety. The AAP has a clear agenda, which destroys trust.

Walkalong
January 25, 2013, 11:25 AM
Excellent article

Walkalong
January 25, 2013, 11:26 AM
The majority of MDs are either anti or for strict control. Or is it just their leadership. I would be interested in real numbers.

Droid noob
January 25, 2013, 11:44 AM
No, but I'm sure there are plenty of children that do!

Great line CLP! I just don't understand why kids hate to clean themselves.

Legionnaire
January 25, 2013, 01:29 PM
Excellent. Thank you.

Ehtereon11B
January 25, 2013, 08:03 PM
Amazing article. Good to see that the AAP doesn't speak for all doctors they cover.

tekarra
January 25, 2013, 08:06 PM
Some very good points and analogies in the article.

SSN Vet
January 25, 2013, 08:11 PM
great article... thanks for your efforts

Deltaboy
January 25, 2013, 08:28 PM
Good read and I told my kids Dr it was non of his business. :evil:

dwstone1227
January 25, 2013, 09:27 PM
PSH:
I want to thank you for taking the time and putting forth your sound argument. It takes courage to go public as you did and I applaud you for doing this. Your arguments are sound. Your logic is commendable.

For anyone reading this who thinks putting gun ownership into your medical record is "not going to hurt". I would like to point out one thing you may be forgetting. Once this information is in your medical record it will NEVER come out. Medical records are not destroyed. Your medical record will be here on this earth after you are dead and gone.

Dwstone1227

VA27
January 25, 2013, 10:24 PM
Well done! Thank you!

ApacheCoTodd
January 25, 2013, 11:01 PM
I couldn't open the article but I should think the subject would be a non-starter given the potential for liabilities post event.

-v-
January 27, 2013, 02:39 AM
Excellent article. I'm in medical school and looking at our class, I am somewhat hard-pressed to see how we can be anti-gun as a whole. About 1/2-2/3 of our class (163 members) has a concealed carry permit. The leadership of the various professional colleges might be a different story, though. I think several other retired MDs on this board can vouch about how some/many professional colleges prefer at times to pursue their own agendas and not always represent the views of their members.

DocCasualty
January 27, 2013, 03:09 AM
The majority of MDs are either anti or for strict control
Hmm . . . I don't know about that. You might be correct, though my personal experience as a practicing physician for the last quarter century doesn't support that conclusion. Of course, I live in a rural, pro-gun area so my experience may not reflect the whole, though I do have many pro-gun colleagues and friends throughout the country too, I must admit that is anecdotal. I certainly am very aware of the anti-gun stance forwarded by many of my colleagues and the various professional and government organizations that purport to speak for me. The pseudo-science I've seen promulgated in this regard is deplorable.

That aside, I would like to compliment Dr. Hsieh on a well written article. I do not believe there is any routine reason to inquire about an individual's ownership of firearms. As far as risk reduction, it should be viewed no differently than any other potential life hazard as has already been described.

I routinely discuss firearms and pro-2A issues with anyone who is interested, whether they are patients, colleagues or from other areas of my life. I would encourage all of us to do that as knowledge is powerful and the only antidote for ignorance.

sonick808
January 27, 2013, 04:26 AM
Nice work indeed. The part about sowing the seeds of distrust is true. While my GP and I have a decades-long relationship, by the time I inevitably have to see a specialist about something or other as I age, I can already feel the seed of mistrust kicking in, wondering about my caretaker's position on guns, will he/she ask, and politics. I shouldn't have to feel that way. I shouldn't be checking whether my specialist was educated in Mass. vs.AZ, for example.

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