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Patient Doctor Rights

Patient Doctor Rights

Patient Privacy Image

Patient Privacy

At what point does questions regarding your right to possess a gun fall into the right of privacy? Should doctors be allowed to discuss this right with their patients? There has been a huge discrepancy regarding this issue since 2011 when the law was passed that restricted doctors from discussing guns.

Is this a violation of privacy?

The law known as the Privacy of Firearm Owners act, restricted doctors from talking to patients about guns. When the law passed in 2011, the NRA and supporters said it was necessary so doctors would not push anti-gun agendas. Doctors and patients have been going around and around on what their own individual right is regarding this issue. “The Florida law was passed in 2011, and targeted pediatricians who asked parents about firearms in the home. Under its provisions, doctors can be punished with a fine of up to $10,000, and can lose their medical licenses for discussing guns with patients.”

“I think that is something personal. That should stay out of the doctor’s office,” said Richard Gatica.

“I don’t think that I would want to be questioned by one of my doctors. I don’t feel that it’s appropriate,” said Michelle Petrocelli of Fort Myers.

Dr. Sujatha Ramamurthy of Lee County says it’s about preventative care.

Patient Doctor Rights

Patient Doctor Rights

The full panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that the law, known as the Privacy of Firearm Owners act, violates the First Amendment rights of doctors, in a 10-1 decision. A federal appeals judge called it a violation of free speech. This now means that doctors can ask if you own a gun and even talk about gun safety. Certain parts of the law, like allowing patients to decline to answer gun questions could still remain. The case will return to a Miami court for confirmation, but it could also be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The decision upheld a portion of the law that explicitly prevents doctors from discriminating against patients who own guns.

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