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American College of Physicians encourages doctors to 'counsel' patients on guns and report data to third parties


(NaturalNews) The American College of Physicians, the second largest physician group in the U.S., is pushing doctors to question patients about firearm safety, as shown in a new report published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The report reminds doctors that the law doesn't prevent them from asking patients about firearms, and encourages them to inquire more about firearm ownership.

"Yes, You Can: Physicians, Patients, and Firearms" sends a loud and controversial message to doctors, suggesting that they "counsel" patients about firearms just as they do other health related matters, and that "when necessary," they disclose the information to third parties.

Doctors have "unique opportunities" when it comes to preventing gun violence, the report reads, adding that despite what you might think, no state or federal laws prevent you from discussing firearms with your patients.

However, that is not exactly true.

Doctors told they should ask patients about seatbelt use, sexual activity and GUNS

Florida's "Docs vs. Glocks" case ruled that physicians are limited in terms of what they can say about a patient's gun ownership. The law prevents doctors from putting that information into a patient's medical record, if the physician agrees it's irrelevant to the patient's medical care or safety. This is for good reason, as gun registries make it a lot easier for the government to confiscate firearms.

Outside the state of Florida, physicians are able to ask routine questions about patient firearm ownership, including "when the patient provides information or exhibits behavior suggesting an acutely increased risk for violence, whether to himself or others, or when the patient possesses other individual-level risk factors for violence, such as alcohol abuse," says the ACP.

Doctors aren't involved in these conversations often enough, the reports adds. "Asking about firearm access is an issue of health - just like asking about car seats, alcohol use, sexual behavior, and smoking," said coauthor Dr. Megan L. Ranney, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, Assistant Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice at Brown University.

Ranney's reasoning is completely illogical. Questions about sexual activity cannot be compared to firearm ownership, since the latter is a Constitutional right. Doctors can't stop people from having unsafe sex or drinking booze, but through gun registries they could certainly threaten an individual's right to own a firearm. In fact, this is already happening.

Using mental health records to refuse firearm sales

Following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, back in 2012, President Obama vowed to implement "common sense" gun control, which included the creation of a registry that would report the names of people diagnosed with mental illnesses to the FBI.

Today, the FBI is in possession of more than 3 million mental health records, which it has used to deny more than 6,000 firearm purchases, Politico reported in January.

Based on the American College of Physicians' report, it appears that the government is looking to expand the program even further.

"Once you've put information in a computer, then it's anybody's game," said Larry Pratt, Executive Director for Gun Owners of America, hinting that the information could end up in anyone's hands.

"I would say a 14-year-old would be able to obtain that data. The Canadians had a registry for long guns for several years, and they found the thing was being hacked, typically by younger people because they're so good at computers. They finally took the registry down. So if the Canadians have learned that you can't put this kind of sensitive information in some central pot, then hopefully we'll learn from them," he added.

A poll completed by NPR three years ago found that only one-third of participants believe healthcare providers should question patients about the presence of guns at home. About 44 percent said they supported banning doctors from asking about guns, while 37 percent said that they were against preventing physicians from asking about guns.










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