Excerpted from an article in American Medical News at amednews.com:
“Physicians and Florida gun ownership advocates are battling over a state bill that would fine and imprison physicians who ask if their patients have guns.
State Rep. Jason Brodeur, a Republican, introduced the bill, which could send doctors to jail for up to five years and fine them up to $5 million for asking about patients’ gun ownership, refusing to treat patients who won’t answer such questions or entering gun ownership information into any record. The bill has the support of the National Rifle Assn. State Sen. Greg Evers, also a Republican, introduced an identical bill in the state Senate.
The measure is partly a reaction to American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines encouraging physicians to talk to parents about protecting children from preventable accidents. This includes the use of booster seats in cars, swimming pool safety and proper gun storage.”
Back to me.
Dear Dr. Em:
I want to again thank you for meeting me on a Sunday at 10 am on the day after Christmas to respond to my hysteria regarding the children’s strep throat. I want to assure you that, thanks to you, we had a marvelous time on the cruise, and the children took every single dose of their antibiotics. Didn’t miss a one. Nope. Pretty much.
Regarding the above news clip, please know that after some serious thought, Hot Firefighter Husband and I would like to welcome your inquiries into where we keep our guns, even though we don’t have any. Can you imagine? I would shoot myself in the foot every two weeks just to get out of doing laundry. And don’t worry, we would never ever secretly tape you asking us about guns so that we could sue you for malpractice and get $5 million then drop the case and still retain you as our pediatrician. That would be wrong. But your insurance would cover it, right?
However, you should be aware that we will be petitioning the state legislature to make it illegal to ask other questions that we think are None of Your Business, and we’d appreciate your support. Here’s what we have so far:
1. You may not ask parents if they’ve given a child Benadryl for such minor allergic reactions as hyperactivity and breathing.
2. You are forbidden from questioning a mother about whether she’s fed her children Cheez-Its for dinner on a Friday night so she could continue drinking wine with her friends.
3. Actually, don’t ask anything that includes the word “wine.”
4. Under no circumstances should you ask how often the children are bathed. That’s just too personal.
5. If, while examining a young girl, the young girl sings loudly, “I wanna be naked!” and wiggles her hips, do not ask her what kind of music she listens to.
6. Do not ask children how often they brush their teeth, which would infringe on the territory of pediatric dentists. We have a whole other set of rules for them.
7. If you ask a child about his favorite foods and he says, “Diarrhea and hot dogs,” cease the inquiry.
8. Don’t ask parents about their children’s television habits.
9. If a child begins to tell some crazy farfetched story involving a parking lot, the police, tequila and bicycles, just smile and assume it’s fiction. Heh heh. Phew.
10. Do not quiz children on their favorites vegetables. But if it comes up, please remember that Spaghettios are essentially a vegetable. With added calcium, by the way.
Dr. Em, we realize this new set of rules may cause you to slightly alter the way you care for our children, but we would be grateful if you could throw your support behind this important legislation – if not for your patients, then for us, the caretakers of your patients.
Please let me know if you have any questions. And thanks again for that time you called me back in Guatemala. Did I ever pay you for that?
Patricia A. Booker
Parents For Undefined Causes, or PFUC **founded Feb. 4, 2011 by Patricia A. Booker