Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Kids, guns and doctors’ rights

Pediatricians regularly give parents advice about how to keep their children safe at home: Stash toxic cleaners where young children cannot get to them, fence the backyard swimming pool, require bike helmets, and keep any firearms unloaded and locked away.

Physicians call this kind of preventive care “anticipatory guidance.’’ When it comes to guns, the National Rifle Association calls it an invasion of privacy.

Governor Rick Scott this month signed a law making Florida the first state to limit a physician’s ability to ask patients or their parents whether they own a gun. Those who do would be subject to discipline by the state medical board. Similar proposals now being considered by several other states have enraged many doctors who say the law impinges on their ability to deliver critical information to families.

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