The A. A. P. takes the position that guns are a public health issue and that pediatricians have a duty to ask about ownership because firearm injuries affect a large number of their patients. According to the group, firearms account for a third of all deaths from injury among teenagers and more than one in five deaths from injury among people ages 1 to 19.
The academy recommends that parents not have a gun in the home. When guns are present, it suggests they be kept unloaded, in a secure, locked place, with the bullets stored separately.
“There’s no political agenda — we’re talking about the safety of children,” said Dr. Lisa A. Cosgrove, president of the group’s Florida chapter. “The best way to protect them is to teach the parents how to protect them.”
Because the new law directly conflicts with accepted medical practices, some of my pediatrician colleagues have told me privately that they worry that not asking about firearms could put them at risk of a malpractice claim if the patient subsequently dies of or is injured by a gunshot. Psychiatrists routinely inquire about guns, too, and the law’s requirements potentially place them in a legal predicament.
Friday, August 12, 2011
An MD Explains Why Gunloons are Deluding Themselves