Court Upholds Florida Law That Punishes Doctors For Talking About Guns

Tanya’s Comment: Treating gun violence as a public health issue is completely proper given the amount of people who are killed, including accidentally, by guns every year. For the NRA to have the power to prevent the medical community (researchers and doctors) from doing its job is insane. Doctors have a responsibility to their patients, but their hands are tied if they can’t discuss guns with patients they fear may be in danger of hurting themselves or others with a firearm.

The Secular Jurist

Several years ago, the American Medical Association advised doctors to ask their patients about firearms and “educate patients to the dangers of firearms to children” in the name of public health. But doctors in Florida may be suppressed from giving this medical advice, now that a federal appeals court upheld a Florida law that became known as the “physician gag rule” because it punishes doctors for talking about guns.

The ruling could have major implications as policymakers examine gun violence as a public health issue. The National Rifle Association-backed law it upheld imposes severe limits on when doctors can ask their patients about guns or keep records in their patients’ charts about firearm safety. Doctors who are found to have violated the provision risk sanctions or loss of their license.

At least ten medical associations and the American Bar Association argued that the law should be struck down because doctors…

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