So I was reading the New York Time today when I came across this article (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/09/health/policy/09guns.html?ref=policy). At first when I began with the title I was a little perplexed...not to why are guns an issue in primary care or not. But to why does the government care whether or not a physician asks the question to a patient. As I continued to read. I was even more amazed at the basis of the new law in Florida in which
"Rick Scott signed a law barring Florida doctors from routinely asking patients if they own a gun. The law also authorizes patients to report doctors for “unnecessarily harassing” them about gun ownership and makes it illegal to routinely document firearm ownership information in a patient’s medical record" (Anytime Article).
This law was put in place to protect people from a violation of privacy even though through HIPPA (1996) officially protects people from that information being used against them and why medical records is a multi billion dollar industry that takes away from money that could be used towards actually providing care. This is besides the point because that is an entirely different issues which represents its own conundrum, I am trying to make the point that the current HIPPA laws would protect people from the fact that they own a gun in applications for jobs or other such professional activities.
The reason people are offended by this question and not the questions about sexual activity or drug use is that this could be used against them when applying for insurance. Then how come these same people are complaining about the new Affordable Care Act which would prevent insurers from using information like this in refusing care. Everything that we do and act is connected to how everything else works in society. If we are risky in our lives then our physicians need to know so they can help to better minimize these risks.
Medicine is not only about treating people, although this is how are current system is setup. This real crisis of medical costs can be cut by doing some simple things. But the one I would like to talk about now is preventative medicine. If you prevent a diabetic from needing their leg amputated because they could afford their medicine because they have insurance. Then the money saved by avoiding the surgeons time and supplies is easily out weigh by the cost of insulin for their lifetime. But for unknown reasons people are only willing to let go of money when someone is about to die. Now this all seems like anecdotes but these are the things that apparently determine the laws for everyone...go figure!
P.S. Below is a copy of anti-depressant disclosure for the use of anti-depressants on adolescents. This is another law put in place though anecdotes that is a risk, but the outcomes of not using anti-depressants is usually more detrimental, because the kids are the ones that are hurt because parents are less likely to adopt these regimes.