Friday, January 21, 2011

"Don't Ask" could put kids at risk

A new Florida bill is in the works that would make it a felony for a pediatrician to ask their patients if there is a gun in their home.

If the bill passes an offender found guilty can face up to 5 years in jail or be fined $5 million.

All for asking a question with a child’s safety in mind.

The bill’s inspiration comes from an incident in the Ocala area when a physician asked patients to seek care elsewhere  when they refused to answer questions about whether they had a gun in their home.

Marion Hammer, executive director of United Sportsmen of Florida and a former national NRA president, said questioning like this goes too far.

She also goes on to say that it is not the business of the doctors to discuss.

Just as a doctor might discuss pool safety with children and their parents they wish to discuss gun safety which can be another highly dangerous threat in the home.

According to between 2000-2005 three kids were killed daily from non-homicidal gun incidents.

Critics of this bill don’t appreciate government putting a block on what doctors and patients can discuss.

I think this bill is what goes too far. I agree with the critics and think government doesn’t have much place in regulating what a doctor can and can’t ask their patients. It is restricting the kind of care they give and could possibly put children at risk.

I do agree with a question like this being included in a patient questionnaire. If a parent checks yes they should be willing to discuss the issue with the doctor to insure the safety of their child.

I don’t think it should go as far as to be illegal to ask this question but it is possible for this question to be labeled as optional and the parent can answer only if they choose.

Visit for more statistics.

See the full article from the St. Augustine Record.