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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Our Suffering Soldiers

Homeless veteran - courtesy of PBS.org

Homeless veteran – courtesy of PBS.org

 

A very depressing statistic:

Chance that a death among U.S. service members is a suicide: 1 in 5

And this, from usnews.nbcnews.com:

Through April, the U.S. military has recorded 161 potential suicides in 2013 among active-duty troops, reservists and National Guard members — a pace of one suicide about every 18 hours. The Army, the largest contingent of the armed forces, sustained 109 reported suicides during the first four months, according its latest report.

Soldiers fight for our government from thousands of miles away, yet when they come home, the government does little for them. They can’t even get healthcare for war injuries without waiting years. They can’t find jobs. Many are homeless. They don’t get proper mental health care. When they suffer from suicidal thoughts, there isn’t adequate help for them. They don’t get much of anything.

These are our brothers and sisters. So why is our government doing this to them?