The Florida Legislature Gags Health Care Workers. How not to save a life.

 The Florida Legislature Gags Health Care Workers. How not to save a life.

Just file this  under “Kick me in the head.”

As well as others, like people who don’t want their houses to float away in Miami, or their drinking water to be all salty, or just us folks here in Stuart/Jensen Beach that don’t want to have to worry about pollution, trains with bombs,  and getting flesh eating bacteria when we go to the beach only to be eaten by horny sharks.

When does this endless intrusion end?

Honestly. I’d rather be some sharks dinner than have to figure out how to deal with this garbage.

The people who couldn’t even pass half the credentialing that’s needed to work in the health care field passed a terrible law again to punish all of us that are trying to do our jobs.

https://cyndi-lenz.com/2015/05/31/do-our-legislators-need-to-be-credentialed/

This whole mess started when a woman took her child to the pediatrician in Ocala. Pediatricians go to meetings with other pediatricians.  and in those meeting  they come up with a list of things to “educate” their clients. Just like us nurses do. Especially now that everything is computerized we can’t upload our admission unless all the questions are answered. Many of our safety questions are mandated.  That’s just for regular medical people. I’m not even talking about psych.

Let me repeat that one more time. WE CAN’T UPLOAD OUR PAPERWORK UNLESS THE ALL THE QUESTIONS ARE ANSWERED.

At any rate, the pediatrician is doing his job and this girl totally goes off on him and she gets in touch with her state rep who lives in Sanford. The Florida NRA gets a hold of all this and they just run with it. I’d have to go back and look it up but I think the pediatrician refused to see the patient not because of the gun. Because she went off. Doctor’s have the right to tell patients they don’t want to come back. It happens all the time.

Guess what. One of those questions is “Do you have a gun?” or “Do you have any weapons?” or “Do you have any fire arms? ” We ask this question, honestly ,with the same tone in our voices as did you poop today? It’s just one more question in a zillion questions when you are doing an assessment of a patient. It’s just one little bit of education. We talk about all kinds of things: scatter rugs, seat belts, steps.  Anything that is about the safety of patient is OUR business.  Because that’s our job. Our first priority is to make sure our patients are safe and if they are not we have a legal/moral/ethical responsibility to make sure we fixed the situation so the patient is safe.

I’ve have never in all my years as a nurse had anyone who was upset about this question. I’ve had some great discussions about safety especially when children are involved.

I’m not antigun. We had Dad’s army guns in the house and we had guns in Maine at our camp. I was a sharpshooter at summer  camp in New Hampshire and I carried a rifle on my back in the field of the kibbutz I lived on in Israel. I was taught to be responsible.

There are some cases that I do need to know if someone has gun. Because if I don’t ask and the person hurts them self  or someone else its malpractice. It beyond malpractice. It’s immoral. It’s beyond reason. Just the thought that I could after all my hard work be responsible for the death of someone because my legislators are idiots just slays me.

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2014/07/29/3464945/court-upholds-florida-law-that-punishes-doctors-for-talking-about-guns/

“Several years ago, the American Medical Association advised doctors to ask their patients about firearms and “educate patients to the dangers of firearms to children” in the name of public health. But doctors in Florida may be suppressed from giving this medical advice, now that a federal appeals court upheld a Florida law that became known as the “physician gag rule” because it punishes doctors for talking about guns.”

Except it not just about physicians. It’s about all health care workers. We are all gagged and we are all open to disciplinary action.

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/08/doctors-cant-ask-about-guns/375566/

“The American Academy of Pediatrics likens counseling on gun safety to counseling on lead paint avoidance or seat belt use. Pediatricians, the group’s recent policy statement reads, are “urged to counsel parents about the dangers of allowing children and adolescents to have access to guns inside and outside the home.” Doctors are encouraged to promote trigger locks, lock boxes, and gun safes. Some distribute cable locks. The American College of Physicians is similarly proactive, calling gun violence a public health issue “requiring immediate attention.” The group, of which most practicing internal-medicine doctors are members, declared in its recent position statement: “Physicians must become more active in counseling patients about firearm safety.” The college implores doctors to open that conversation by asking patients (with and without children in their homes) about gun ownership.”

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String+&URL=0700-0799/0790/Sections/0790.338.html

790.338 Medical privacy concerning firearms; prohibitions; penalties; exceptions.

(1) A health care practitioner licensed under chapter 456 or a health care facility licensed under chapter 395 may not intentionally enter any disclosed information concerning firearm ownership into the patient’s medical record if the practitioner knows that such information is not relevant to the patient’s medical care or safety, or the safety of others.
(2) A health care practitioner licensed under chapter 456 or a health care facility licensed under chapter 395 shall respect a patient’s right to privacy and should refrain from making a written inquiry or asking questions concerning the ownership of a firearm or ammunition by the patient or by a family member of the patient, or the presence of a firearm in a private home or other domicile of the patient or a family member of the patient. Notwithstanding this provision, a health care practitioner or health care facility that in good faith believes that this information is relevant to the patient’s medical care or safety, or the safety of others, may make such a verbal or written inquiry.
(3) Any emergency medical technician or paramedic acting under the supervision of an emergency medical services medical director under chapter 401 may make an inquiry concerning the possession or presence of a firearm if he or she, in good faith, believes that information regarding the possession of a firearm by the patient or the presence of a firearm in the home or domicile of a patient or a patient’s family member is necessary to treat a patient during the course and scope of a medical emergency or that the presence or possession of a firearm would pose an imminent danger or threat to the patient or others.
(Because EMT’s have nothing better to do while they are saving the life of your family member.)
(4) A patient may decline to answer or provide any information regarding ownership of a firearm by the patient or a family member of the patient, or the presence of a firearm in the domicile of the patient or a family member of the patient. A patient’s decision not to answer a question relating to the presence or ownership of a firearm does not alter existing law regarding a physician’s authorization to choose his or her patients.
(5) A health care practitioner licensed under chapter 456 or a health care facility licensed under chapter 395 may not discriminate against a patient based solely upon the patient’s exercise of the constitutional right to own and possess firearms or ammunition.
(Who does this anyway? How do you people come up with this garbage? We’re health care workers. It’s our job NOT to judge anyone. Just because your judgmental doesn’t mean we are. A case of pure projection.)
(6) A health care practitioner licensed under chapter 456 or a health care facility licensed under chapter 395 shall respect a patient’s legal right to own or possess a firearm and should refrain from unnecessarily harassing a patient about firearm ownership during an examination.
(7) An insurer issuing any type of insurance policy pursuant to chapter 627 may not deny coverage, increase any premium, or otherwise discriminate against any insured or applicant for insurance on the basis of or upon reliance upon the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition or the lawful use or storage of a firearm or ammunition. Nothing herein shall prevent an insurer from considering the fair market value of firearms or ammunition in the setting of premiums for scheduled personal property coverage.
Another care of guilty until proven innocent.
(8) Violations of the provisions of subsections (1)-(4) constitute grounds for disciplinary action under ss. 456.072(2) and 395.1055.
History.s. 1, ch. 2011-112.
If violated we get to go in front of disciplinary board.
How would you suggest we not ask this question since it required? I’m pretty sure we all similar computer programs which ask basically the same question.

Almost 20,000 people committed suicide in the United States with firearms in 2011. More than 11,000 were killed by firearms that year, and more than 200 were killed in accidents with guns. In 2009, almost 7,400 children were hospitalized because of injuries related to guns.

Doctors who ask about guns aren’t doing so because they’re nosy. They’re doing so because the vast majority of those deaths and injuries are preventable.

It’s entirely possible to keep a gun in your home safely. But studies show that the majority of people who keep guns in their homes do so in an unlocked space. Few have any kind of trigger locks. More than 10 percent report keeping their guns loaded or near ammunition, in an unlocked area.

That’s often how children get hurt. Few people argue that young children should have access to guns or ammunition. But that’s what’s happening in far too many homes in the United States. Research shows that guns kept in the home are more likely to be involved in accidents, crimes, or suicides than in self-defense.

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2014/07/docs_vs_glocks_upheld_florida_pediatricians_forbidden_from_asking_patients.html

ut this kind of stuff does happen in Florida—far more often than you’d think. In 2013 alone, at least 17 children in the state were killed by guns, and myriad more were wounded. These tragedies are part of a spiraling, nationwide epidemic of gun violence toward children, which includes a horrifyingly high number of absolutely preventable accidental shootings.

The gag law, nicknamed the Docs vs. Glocks law by its detractors, was passed by an overwhelmingly Republican Legislature brimming over with money from NRA lobbyists. It would seem to be an obvious First Amendment violation: For asking a patient a question that could save his child’s life, a doctor in Florida could lose her medical license or be fined $10,000. The state has no rational—let alone compelling—interest in censoring doctors from asking this basic question, much less preventing doctors from making evidence-based recommendations about public health and safety. And the law is so broad and vague that even an indirect inquiry could potentially qualify as illegal “harassment of a patient regarding firearm ownership.”

I can’t wait for next year! I bet we won’t be able to ask people if they pooped.
I pooped today
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6 comments on “The Florida Legislature Gags Health Care Workers. How not to save a life.

  1. pjoy17 says:

    Until just now I hadn’t heard about this new law Cyndi! Amazingly stupid law! Thank you for educating all of us! ❤

    Like

    • cyndilenz says:

      I knew about it at the beginning I had idea it was passed. At the beginning they wanted to make it a felony if you broke it. Can you imagine ! What r u in for ? I asked the wrong person of they had a gun

      Like

  2. lar says:

    Very strange law. guess when someone comes in and you dont ask and a Dr gets shot, then they’ll change it back?

    Like

    • cyndilenz says:

      not only that but a few issues. One is because we are all computerized (I’m a psych home health nurse) you HAVE to answer the question or the assessment will not be complete. Our main job is safety. If you work in home health you do huge safety assessments. What if your patient kills themselves or someone else. The whole thing is ludicrous. The basis of how it came about is laughable. The NRA took this incident and ran with it.

      Like

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