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Say What

York, PA

#1 Jan 16, 2013
So the Dr asks my son and daughter-in-law during a routine exam;

"Do you have any guns in the house?"

Son replies, that's none of your business and what's it have to do with my son's exam?

The Doc stammered, stalled and didn't know how to respond.

My son asked again and the Doc tried to move on but my son would not let it go and after finally insisting, the Doc refused to answer.

This is not the first I've heard of this and my question is WHY is this needed?
DGS

Thurmont, MD

#2 Jan 16, 2013
Perhaps the doctor was trying to determine if a discussion of firearm locks/safety was necessary. There are some parents that underestimate the curiousity of young children and what they are capable of getting into. I really don't see where the doctors questions was that out of line and if this is where he was heading, he should have just asked. My doctor always asked my children whether or not they used seat belts in the car, and other safety related questions. Much easier for the doctor to question safety concerns up front than to inform the parents that their child died due to an accident.
Chuck

Chambersburg, PA

#3 Jan 16, 2013
Say What wrote:
So the Dr asks my son and daughter-in-law during a routine exam;
"Do you have any guns in the house?"
Son replies, that's none of your business and what's it have to do with my son's exam?
The Doc stammered, stalled and didn't know how to respond.
My son asked again and the Doc tried to move on but my son would not let it go and after finally insisting, the Doc refused to answer.
This is not the first I've heard of this and my question is WHY is this needed?
Just curious, does your son secure his weapons so that his child doesn't have access to them?

Since: May 12

Chambersburg, PA

#4 Jan 16, 2013
Say What wrote:
So the Dr asks my son and daughter-in-law during a routine exam;
"Do you have any guns in the house?"
Son replies, that's none of your business and what's it have to do with my son's exam?
The Doc stammered, stalled and didn't know how to respond.
My son asked again and the Doc tried to move on but my son would not let it go and after finally insisting, the Doc refused to answer.
This is not the first I've heard of this and my question is WHY is this needed?
Many doctors ask this question. It may even be part of their training now. It's a shame you son's doc wasn't prepared to give the answer on it.

Doctors ask patients all sorts of personal questions related to their health and safety - smoking, drinking, etc. Given that eight children a day are killed by guns in this country, it seems like a perfectly reasonable question for the doctor to ask parents of a child, and then provide information about the safe storage of firearms.

Since: May 09

Location hidden

#5 Jan 16, 2013
There must have been some reason he asked that. There's two sides to every story. Otherwise, that's extremely unorthodox.

Since: May 12

Chambersburg, PA

#6 Jan 16, 2013
From the American Medical Association website:

..........

Talking about guns in the home

Physicians play an important role in helping prevent gun injuries by talking to parents of young patients about firearms safety, says Michael D. Kisicki, MD, a psychiatry and behavioral health specialist at Seattle Children’s Hospital. He recommends that doctors ask about the presence of firearms in the home.

Questions for parents

- Do you have guns? If so, how are they stored?
- What efforts do you take to lock the weapon?

Gun safety tips for doctors to give to parents

- Store ammunition separately from the gun.
- Consider keeping the firearm in a secure gun safe and placing a mechanical lock on the gun.

..........

The AMA supports physician discussions with patients about firearm safety and risks to help them safeguard their families from accidents.

Physicians rely on their expertise and training, supported by evidence-based medicine and professional guidelines to counsel patients about everyday risks, including unused seat belts, swimming pool hazards, household chemicals, tobacco and drug abuse.

Studies show that patients who received physician counseling on firearm safety were more likely to adopt one or more safe gun-storage practices.

Since: May 09

Location hidden

#7 Jan 16, 2013
OK, I did some research on this.

I found an email that circulated last year claiming new "Obamacare" regulations required doctors to ask about guns. Of course this is false - some doctors do ask parents of young children if they have guns in the home, and that is up to the individual doctor.

Florida tried to pass a law prohibiting doctors from asking about guns, but it was deemed unconstitutional.

I found an article online about the relevancy of doctors asking about guns and found this quote from Dr. Carolyn McClanahan:

"In medical training, physicians are taught to screen for potential violence. It is amazing how many people will tell you if they are homicidal or suicidal – you just have to ask. As an extension, we ask about access to guns. If a suicidal or homicidal person has access to guns, they are more likely to use that implement to initiate their violent act. This is why we are trained to ask that question."

Tufts University School of Medicine professor Dr. Jerome Kassirer wrote in the Archives of Internal Medicine about how we should approach guns in America from this point on.

He suggested that physicians should be allowed to ask about guns in the home, and be encouraged to talk with patients about gun use and ownership.

In an effort to not profile specific individuals, many physicians are being encouraged to ask all patients about guns as an overall safety issue - which is why many pediatricians are asking about guns in the homes of small children.

Based on my research, this is not any sort of an attempt to infringe on anyone's rights - there is already a doctor/patient confidentiality and if your doctor can't ask about guns in the home, then who will? Some people are not responsible gun owners, we all know that, and something it's just ignorance or lack of information that leads to accidents. If doctors asking this question can help prevent just a few gun-related injuries, then I don't see why it would be such a bad thing.

If you don't want to answer, well, no one's holding a gun to your head.
Say What

York, PA

#8 Jan 16, 2013
Thanks for the info, the web and blogs are a wonderful tool!

And yes, I think if the Doc had answered my sons question appropriately, my son would have co-operated!

And YES, all weapons in both our homes are secured
and my grand kids are properly educated about them at the appropriate age!!

The 8 year old is quite the marksman and far, far more safety concious than many adults I know!

Since: May 09

Location hidden

#9 Jan 16, 2013
Say What wrote:
Thanks for the info, the web and blogs are a wonderful tool!
And yes, I think if the Doc had answered my sons question appropriately, my son would have co-operated!
And YES, all weapons in both our homes are secured
and my grand kids are properly educated about them at the appropriate age!!
The 8 year old is quite the marksman and far, far more safety concious than many adults I know!
Yeah, it sounds like doctors are being encouraged to ask about guns but some doctors may not even know why they're asking, and I think it's totally appropriate to ask why he's asking. There should be a reason, and it seems like there is... but this doctor may have been just going through the motions, or never had his motives questions before based on the question.

I think that children can really surprise us with their responsibility and maturity if we just give them the chance, and I think that goes for a lot of things. For that to work though, you need responsible, positive parents that can guide young people to making the right decisions - and this is about just about anything - early on. Unfortunately, there's no license or background check to being a parent, so youth in America will always be regarded suspiciously.
Say What

York, PA

#10 Jan 16, 2013
I think that children can really surprise us with their responsibility and maturity if we just give them the chance,........

and if we spend quality time with them as parents teaching them right from wrong and accepting responsibility for their actions!!!!
Winston Smith

Chambersburg, PA

#11 Jan 16, 2013
Actually I think it's a good idea that doctors asked their patients about guns.

My husband is a psychologist and over the years he had dealings with patients that carried guns, went hunting, etc. He has said these people SHOULD NOT have guns. There was nothing he could do about it because it was a violation of the patients privacy/confidentiality.

Another area that is a problem is with the violent video games where kids "blow people away", and Hollywood also has to take responsibility. They have put out plenty of violent gun scenes.

Anyhow with that said........

Since: May 12

Chambersburg, PA

#12 Jan 16, 2013
Winston Smith wrote:
Actually I think it's a good idea that doctors asked their patients about guns.
My husband is a psychologist and over the years he had dealings with patients that carried guns, went hunting, etc. He has said these people SHOULD NOT have guns. There was nothing he could do about it because it was a violation of the patients privacy/confidentiality.
Another area that is a problem is with the violent video games where kids "blow people away", and Hollywood also has to take responsibility. They have put out plenty of violent gun scenes.
Anyhow with that said........
The President's plan, if passed, will help your husband.

In section 2 of his plan, it says this...

D. PRESERVE THE RIGHTS OF HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS TO PROTECT THEIR PATIENTS AND COMMUNITIES FROM GUN VIOLENCE

• Clarify that no federal law prevents health care providers from warning law enforcement authorities about threats of violence:

Doctors and other mental health professionals play an important role in protecting the safety of their patients and the broader community by reporting direct and credible threats of violence to the authorities.

But there is public confusion about whether federal law prohibits such reports about threats of violence.

The Department of Health and Human Services is issuing a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits these reports in any way.

Since: May 12

Chambersburg, PA

#13 Jan 16, 2013
Actually that will happen without Congress having to pass the whole plan.

It's one of the horrible executive orders the right is having a hissy fit over - he's going to tell DHHS to get it done.

Since: May 12

Chambersburg, PA

#14 Jan 16, 2013
Winston Smith wrote:
Another area that is a problem is with the violent video games where kids "blow people away", and Hollywood also has to take responsibility. They have put out plenty of violent gun scenes.
There has actually been some pretty good scientific study of this.

----------

The Hitman study: Violent video game exposure effects on aggressive behavior, hostile feelings, and depression.

This article explores commonly discussed theories of violent video game effects: the social learning, mood management, and catharsis hypotheses. An experimental study was carried out to examine violent video game effects. In this study, 103 young adults were given a frustration task and then randomized to play no game, a nonviolent game, a violent game with good versus evil theme (i.e., playing as a good character taking on evil), or a violent game in which they played as a “bad guy.”

Results indicated that randomized video game play had no effect on aggressive behavior; real-life violent video game-playing history, however, was predictive of decreased hostile feelings and decreased depression following the frustration task.

Results do not support a link between violent video games and aggressive behavior, but do suggest that violent games reduce depression and hostile feelings in players through mood management.

Since: May 12

Chambersburg, PA

#15 Jan 16, 2013
Winston Smith wrote:
Another area that is a problem is with the violent video games where kids "blow people away", and Hollywood also has to take responsibility. They have put out plenty of violent gun scenes.
More systematic research on the connection between video games and violence....

----------

Ten-country comparison suggests there’s little or no link between video games and gun murders

It’s true that Americans spend billions of dollars on video games every year and that the United States has the highest firearm murder rate in the developed world.

But other countries where video games are popular have much lower firearm-related murder rates.

In fact, countries where video game consumption is highest tend to be some of the safest countries in the world, likely a product of the fact that developed or rich countries, where consumers can afford expensive games, have on average much less violent crime.

Since: May 12

Chambersburg, PA

#16 Jan 16, 2013
Winston Smith wrote:
Another area that is a problem is with the violent video games where kids "blow people away", and Hollywood also has to take responsibility. They have put out plenty of violent gun scenes.
More systematic research...

----------

As Video Game Sales Climb Year Over Year, Violent Crime Continues To Fall

In August of 2007, Dr. Christopher J. Ferguson of Texas A&M published a study [full paper here] showing that many studies of violence in video games have ‘publication bias’ baked into the reports, and even then, of the 25 studies he surveyed, none show any causal link between violence in video games and violence in real life.
...
In 2010, Dr. Fergusson and Dr. Stephanie M. Rueda published another study in which they took a sample of 103 young adults and had them solve a “frustration task.” Separating the participants into four groups, the researches had one group play no video game, one play a non-violent video game, one play as good guys in a violent game, and one play as bad guys in a violent game.

They found that the games had no impact on aggressive behavior whatsoever, and that the group which played no game at all was the most aggressive after the task, whereas the group that played the violent games were the least hostile and depressed.

There are many other studies which come to the same conclusions - or lack of conclusions - about the risk of violent video games affecting behavior in real life.

Many social and behavioral researchers point out that violence in the home and poverty are better indicators of anti-social or violent behavior.

Since: May 09

Location hidden

#17 Jan 16, 2013
Winston Smith wrote:
Actually I think it's a good idea that doctors asked their patients about guns.
My husband is a psychologist and over the years he had dealings with patients that carried guns, went hunting, etc. He has said these people SHOULD NOT have guns. There was nothing he could do about it because it was a violation of the patients privacy/confidentiality.
Another area that is a problem is with the violent video games where kids "blow people away", and Hollywood also has to take responsibility. They have put out plenty of violent gun scenes.
Anyhow with that said........
@All of the Dan the Man posts: TL;DR

In response to this, a lot of people are trying deflect the conversation that has come to the forefront from recent shootings away from guns and onto mental illness. And I don't disagree, that is an important consideration and one that needs to be addressed.

Should people in psychiatric treatment who own guns be denied that right based on their doctor's suggestions? Or perhaps not even a doctor, a counselor or clergyman's suggestion?

However, I personally do not believe there is any correlation between violence in movies or video games to real life violence. In fact, as an outlet for those with violent tendencies, it may even reduce it. I believe that argument is a cop-out that deflects the topic of personal responsibility and finding help for those who need it. If you want to take it in this direction, then it's a cultural problem rather than a media problem - because blaming the media is so cliche.

Take, for example, Japan. Arguably the safest nation in the world, with one of the lowest crime rates of all industrialized nations. Violent movies and video games were practically invented there, and are enjoyed throughout the country. South Korea is a similar example. Scandinavia and Western Europe get the same movies and video games we do. And what about Canada?

Deflecting the conversation from guns or mental illness is fine, but it's not a media problem - it's a cultural problem.

Since: May 12

Chambersburg, PA

#18 Jan 16, 2013
Effington wrote:
<quoted text>
@All of the Dan the Man posts: TL;DR
In response to this, a lot of people are trying deflect the conversation that has come to the forefront from recent shootings away from guns and onto mental illness. And I don't disagree, that is an important consideration and one that needs to be addressed.
Should people in psychiatric treatment who own guns be denied that right based on their doctor's suggestions? Or perhaps not even a doctor, a counselor or clergyman's suggestion?
However, I personally do not believe there is any correlation between violence in movies or video games to real life violence. In fact, as an outlet for those with violent tendencies, it may even reduce it. I believe that argument is a cop-out that deflects the topic of personal responsibility and finding help for those who need it. If you want to take it in this direction, then it's a cultural problem rather than a media problem - because blaming the media is so cliche.
Take, for example, Japan. Arguably the safest nation in the world, with one of the lowest crime rates of all industrialized nations. Violent movies and video games were practically invented there, and are enjoyed throughout the country. South Korea is a similar example. Scandinavia and Western Europe get the same movies and video games we do. And what about Canada?
Deflecting the conversation from guns or mental illness is fine, but it's not a media problem - it's a cultural problem.
Let me help - the posts were scientific studies that support what you personally believe about video game violence.

I like to base my beliefs on objective and verifiable science. I just thought others might like to do that too. But whatever.
Nerd Rage

Chambersburg, PA

#19 Jan 16, 2013
It reaches to far into our personal lives so if your Doc and you are comfortable with it then fine. But I don't need my Doc to pry into my personal firearm security. What if I tell him I leave my guns on the table loaded? What is he going to do? Will he report me to some office if he thinks I'm not securing my weapon to his standards? If anything he should do at the most is to give a handout to read as I leave if he has any concerns. Anything outside my physical and mental health is not open to discussion not should it ever be.

Since: May 09

Location hidden

#20 Jan 16, 2013
Dan the Man Chambersburg wrote:
<quoted text>
Let me help - the posts were scientific studies that support what you personally believe about video game violence.
I like to base my beliefs on objective and verifiable science. I just thought others might like to do that too. But whatever.
And that's great, and you know I particularly appreciate research, science and factual, peer-reviewed information. I would just limit it to one post at a time. When there are three back-to-back like that, I think it disrupts from the actual discussion part of the topic and I tend to not read any of it.

That being said, I'd be happy to take this in that direction. People who don't understand video games in particular are quick to condemn - although that perception will die off eventually considering that the average age of gamers in this country is around 30.

I personally disappointed to see Mass Effect, a beloved game franchise to me, vindicated in the Sandy Hook shootings - not because of any connection with the shooter, but because his brother had liked it on his Facebook page.

That's the kind of reactionary ignorance that leads to widespread misinformation, and why a much greater problem than "the media" is specifically 24-hour news profiteering.

Discuss :)

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