As Texas takes a closer look at gun laws and reconsiders several major policies, one lawmaker is working to reverse a dangerous trend in the Long Horn state. State Rep. Stuart Spitzer has filed a bill that would stop doctors from asking their patients questions about firearms ownership. The bill passes, the Texas Medical Board would punish physicians for questioning patients about their personal guns.
Spitzer said this change is long overdue and some physicians are crossing the line with inquiries that have little to do with medicine. “Pediatricians are asking children away from their parents, ‘Do you have guns in your house?’ and then reporting this on the electronic health records, and then the federal government, frankly, has acess to who has guns and who doesn’t,” Spitzer explained.
He said he has actually seen this happen with his own daughter. After taking her for a routine doctor’s appointment, his daughter said she was questioned about whether there were in any guns in her home. He hopes that this new bill will prevent other children from encountering these types of questions.
Some doctors are arguing against House Bill 2823, claiming that it would prevent them from having crucial discussions that are a natural part of the doctor-patient relationship. However, it’s really hard to see how any pediatrician needs to know whether the patient’s parents are gun owners. Furthermore, this opens a door to a privacy breach when the federal government can gain easy access to a list of gun owners that might not otherwise be known except for an innocent disclosure by a child.
A physician should be trusted and by asking information for the sole purpose of releasing it to electronic records accessed by the government, doctors are breaking a code of ethics. They are crossing the line from acting in the best interest of their patients to being a pawn in the game led by leaders that would like to see guns rounded up and completely eliminated from society.