Sunday, June 19, 2011

Reader commentary regarding HB-155 (Provides that licensed practitioner or facility may not record firearm ownership information in patient's medical record)

For centuries, the law has recognized the importance of physician patient communications. Privilege extends over those communications such that a physician may not be compelled to disclose information obtained from a patient without that patient’s permission or a court order. The idea here is to give patients confidence and comfort in discussing highly personal matters with their physician. Similar privileges exist between lawyers and clients and clergy (known as the priest/penitent privilege). It seems to me that the Florida law does harm to physician patient communication because it begins to regulate the communication instead of protecting it.
 --Michael J. Sacopulos, JD

I was taught to be concerned about "anticipatory guidance" — teaching parents how to safeguard their children against accidental injuries. Like pediatricians, family doctors ask about bike helmets, seat belts, and GUNS. [This Law]… means I cannot counsel parents how to secure a gun to prevent accidental injury and death?  Shall I delete those questions from my patient intake form? Shall I NEVER ask those questions?  Will I be disciplined if I dare asking those questions?
 --Bernd Wollschlaeger, MD

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