Tuesday, January 22, 2013

So Now Doctors Will Pester Kids About Guns?

At a press conference at the Charleston Place Hotel in South Carolina, Senator Rand Paul took issue with a part of Obama's gun control plan.  The segment of Obama's plan that Senator Paul was talking about reads:

Doctors and other health care providers also need to be able to ask about firearms in their patients' homes and safe storage of those firearms, especially if their patients show signs of certain mental illnesses or if they have a young child or mentally ill family member at home. Some have incorrectly claimed that language in the Affordable Care Act prohibits doctors from asking their patients about guns and gun safety. Medical groups also continue to fight against state laws attempting to ban doctors from asking these questions. The Administration will issue guidance clarifying that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit or otherwise regulate communication between doctors and patients, including about firearms.

And here are his comments below:

"What they said in their description of the executive order is families that have someone mentally ill or children — well, half of the country have children at home," Paul said, holding a press conference in a boardroom at Charleston Place Hotel. "So what are we going to do? Are we going to ask eight-year-old kids, 'Does Daddy have a gun at home? Does Daddy drink beer? Did Daddy ever yell at Mommy, and he has guns in the house?' I mean, you can see how you could open Pandora's box, not to mention that interviewing of children is notoriously inaccurate."

Can you imagine, you take your child to the pediatrician because they have an ear infection or they hurt themselves some way and suddenly the doctor starts asking your child about guns at home and whether mommy and daddy fight?  You can certainly see the doctor excusing it as "required by recent regulations".  I know I could always find a new doctor but what if all of them are suddenly asking such questions?  Doctor patient confidentiality needs to remain of paramount importance and should not be usurped in the name of some sort of political decision.  And G-d only knows what the doctors will use with this information.

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