Docs VS Glocs. Gag me. Oh ya. you did. Welcome to loony bin coming to state near you.

Docs VS Glocs. Gag me. Oh ya. you did. Welcome to loony bin coming to state near you.


I was going to write this nice blog about Jensen Beach or the Treasure Coast.   Then this happened. I was looking around the twittersphere and I found this.

Only in Florida do our legislators think it ok to kill bears but want to jail you for feeding them. (You really shouldn’t feed them) and it’s ok for health care workers not to ask people if they have a gun.

That’s just for now because it could be coming to a state near you so listen up!


As I have said before this is a long list of questions that we ask as mandated by Medicare, Medicaid, JCAHO and AHCA  and all those other governing  bodies that tell us what we have to ask that have been rolled up in lovely computer program and I don’t care what program you have they all ask the same questions. Yes its a run on sentence.

Sue me. Because that’s whats going happen if there is a gun in the house and someone gets hurt.

How do you mitigate this? Who signed this bill. I want names.

Because clearly it wasn’t a person who even understands how medicine works and what we are REQUIRED TO DO. A firearm is more than a gun.  A weapon is more than a gun. A person could have big knives. Do you care about the big knives? Nooooo Do they care about the giant bottles of medicine the person could OD on? No. All they care about it the guns. They don’t care about the people.

They took this story and they ran with it. This girl takes her kid to the pediatrician in Ocala. He asked about guns which is part of his assessment ( again thousands of questions) She goes off. No one questions the mental health of a person going off in a doctor’s office. The NRA certainly does not care about mental health. They just care about gun sales.

I know this story because I personally spoke to the the representative sponsoring this in the first place. I totally understood where he was coming from but instead of doing something about the issue like helping the poor girl that went off he created a lot of havoc for a lot of people. Especially those of us that go to people’s houses to take care of them.

Who is protecting me? No one. I have no protection. I could get shot tomorrow and it would be too bad for me.

The big issue was  the doctor told her not to come back. No reason to rehash. Why? Because this is loony land. Run by loonies with  loony ideas.

He told her to not come back because she could not control herself  in his office. Not because she owned a gun. The office is in Ocala.

For some reason this just wreaked havoc in the brains of some Republican Lawmakers who don’t understand this goes on all the time for a variety of reasons. Doctor’s do not have time for people going off in their offices. Sometimes this is recognized as depression and many times if the person is elderly a psych home health nurse like myself is ordered to assess the situation and make recommendations.

No one likes to see anyone in anyone be in that much anguish that they have to go off in order to get relief.

Except for out Florida Legislature that doesn’t give a rat’s behind. They just want to make everyone life crazy over their guns.

There’s many different weapons and when you’ve been doing this for 25 years everything in the house is a potential weapon. In a house with a pool and no fence that pool is a death trap for a child.

I usually ask “Do you have any firearms.”  and then I apologize and then I crack a joke about fire arms. It looks like this. Then I apologize for my bad acting skills and it ends with a good laugh. As it should. I can’t discuss how I would handle this because of HIPPA. The same HIPPA that would prevent lists to be made of paranoid gun owners so Obama’s secret agents can come to your house and take your guns away.

For many of our older generation asking if they have a gun is actually a conversation starter to their time in war and for many of these older veterans they really don’t get a chance to talk to anyone about this. Why would anyone want to take this away from them? This is the issue with stupid laws. They have unintended consequences.

“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.”

Ten thousand bucks. Do nurses get a sliding scale discount? EMTS?

Here is a sample of an self evaluation form from a psychiatry clinic.

Out of pages of evaluation there is one question. The nono

Do you own any guns or knives? ______________________________________________
So it’s good to know we can ask the knife part but have to skip the gun part. Please free to insert “firearm” and do your own “Hunger Games” reenactment.

On Tuesday, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed an injunction against Florida’s notorious “Docs vs. Glocks” law, aka the Firearm Owners’ Privacy Act. The case could easily wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court. It should. It’s a dangerous decision that must not stand.    The groups that sued to overturn the law say they’ll dispute the ruling and are advising their physician members that the law is still on hold while they fight.    If it survives, legal experts say it will represent the first time the courts allow a state to silence physicians from counseling their patients.    Two of the court’s three judges suggested the state’s Docs vs. Glocks law isn’t a limit on free speech but “legitimate regulation of professional conduct.”    Think about what that would mean: If it’s OK to ban doctors’ questions about guns, then every industry with an effective lobby could pass a similar gag law. What will be next? Sodas? Red meat? Electronic cigarettes? Motorcycle helmets? The goal here was to chill doctors’ speech. Gun-makers aren’t the only industry with an interest in doing that.  The law would prohibit doctors from “harassing” patients about gun ownership and collecting such information in a database, if the issue is “irrelevant to or unnecessary for the provision of medical care.”   The odious law had been on hold since 2011, when a lower court granted an injunction on First Amendment and due process grounds. But what, exactly, constitutes “harassment” as opposed to sound medical care? In these polarizing times, the simple question, “Is there a gun in the house?” can raise hackles. A doctor with his patient’s best interest at heart could be hauled before the Florida Board of Medicine and forced to pay costly legal fees to answer a complaint from anyone who took offense. A politicized board could impose penalties as extreme as revocation of a doctor’s license to practice medicine.   The court suggests there are only limited times when it would be relevant for a doctor to ask about gun ownership, such as when a patient expressed suicidal thoughts. So now we are to presume that scholars of law and legislators know more about the practice of medicine than actual physicians and their professional societies?  The problem with the court’s flawed logic is that when it comes to health, the issue of gun ownership is never irrelevant or unnecessary.    Don’t take our word. Take the word of the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American College of Physicians.    Research shows that an average of seven children and youths younger than 20 are killed by guns every day. For people between 13 and 34, homicide and suicide are the second and third leading causes of death in the United States.    As pediatricians conduct regular school physicals, they must now decide for themselves whether to follow the advice of their professional medical societies or two judges on the subject of guns in the home.    Palm Beach Gardens pediatrician Dr. Tommy Schechtman is a plaintiff in the case. It’s standard practice for him to ask parents if there’s a gun in the home, and if the answer is yes, to discuss the importance of keeping the gun locked away, with ammunition stored separately. He suggests parents consider the added protection of a combination trigger lock.    He plans to keep asking. We applaud him.”

No offense to the court there are plenty of times that you want to ask if there is  a gun the house. People going thru a divorce. At risk are the elderly in the case of one being a caregiver and the other person having dementia. Just a person with dementia. What happens to the lone person that lives by himself has dementia and has a gun?  Because you never know. You just don’t know. It’s not like it’s never happened before.

So understand there are many situations. In the case of an elderly person with dementia I would do the same thing a pediatrician would do. I would make sure it was locked up along with any medications and anything else that could cause a person harm.

But if I can’t ask then I don’t know and you’ve just put my patient, the family and the neighbors and myself at risk. Why? Because guns trump people.

Please don’t even start to call me a gun hater. We had a rifle in our cottage in Maine over the door for my whole life. My uncle sold guns in Maine. We had guns in our house in our parents army chests complete with bullets. I even took the bullets for show and tell in grade school. I went to summer camp and became a sharpshooter as well as many archery awards when I was a kid. You wanna have a gun have a gun.  You want to have dead parents or dead children don’t lock them up.

We, your healthcare workers, don’t deal in guns. We don’t care that you have a gun. We care that you are safe.

This is from 2012

“Schechtman was one of the lead plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit that took aim at the Firearm Owners’ Privacy Act that was signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott in June 2011. The law forbid doctors from asking a patient whether she owns a firearm, unless the practitioner in good faith believed the information was relevant to the patient’s medical care or safety.

WEIGH IN: Allow doctors to talk about guns with patients?

But Schechtman and others argued that the law had a “chilling effect,” violated the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship and kept them from providing potentially life-saving gun safety information.

Friday, a federal judge put a permanent injunction on the law.

Marion Hammer, with the Florida chapter of the National Rifle Association, said many members were calling, upset about Judge Marcia Cooke’s ruling.

“No doctor should tell you not to own a gun,” Hammer said.

She said the governor will appeal the ruling. A spokesman for Gov. Scott could not immediately confirm that.”

No one is telling anyone not to own a gun? How dense are these people that actually believe this. But believe me these are the first people who will start yelling and calling for justice if there was a nurse or a social worker in the house and someone got hurt. “Why didn’t they do anything?”

My new answer

“Sorry Dude. you gagged me.”

Maybe I should ask Rick Scott what to do? He’s worked in medicine before.

A moment of silence, please, for Zuri Chambers, who died in Lake Worth this spring at age 3; also for Nick Minor, who died in West Palm Beach at age 17, and for Patrick Appleton, who died in Palm City at age 13.

All three youths had been playing, unsupervised, with guns they found in their homes. The guns went off accidentally, killing them.

MIAMI — A Florida law that restricts what doctors can ask patients about gun ownership should be reinstated because it doesn’t limit free speech as a federal judge ruled, an attorney for the state argued Thursday.

The law, which has become popularly known as “Docs vs. Glocks,” does not flatly ban physicians from having discussions about firearms with patients, Florida Solicitor General Allen Winsor told a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

“The wording in the law is `should refrain,'” Winsor said. “It’s not mandating anything. It’s recommending. The use of the term is critical in this case.” ( A  ten thousand dollar fine and the loss of your medical license is NOT a recommendation. It’s a mandate.),vs.,glocks%27,appeal%3A,florida,still,fighting,to,reinstate,law,restricting,doctors,from,asking

Passed by the Legislature in 2011, the Firearm Owners Privacy Act prohibited doctors from asking patients about gun ownership or recording such information in medical records unless it was medically necessary – although that term was not defined. U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke declared the legislation unconstitutional last year as an impermissible restriction on free speech, and the state appealed.

In his rebuttal, the attorney representing physicians and gun-control advocates, Douglas Hallward-Driemeier, said the law was sufficiently strong to prompt doctors to censor themselves, because none would risk a potential loss of license or fines up to $10,000 for violating it.

He said most doctors ask about gun ownership as a common practice on questionnaires filled out by patients and that it’s particularly important in homes where children are present or in cases of mental illness.

“We think it’s relevant to ask every patient, every time,” Hallward-Driemeier said. “Doctors will self-censor.”

But one member of the panel, U.S. Circuit Judge Gerald Tjoflat, had a different concern.

Tjoflat grilled Hallward-Driemeier about the possibility that allowing doctors to ask about gun ownership could devolve into a situation in which they are somehow used by the federal government to collect lists of gun owners.

“It goes to Uncle Sam in Washington. You understand my concern,” the judge said. “You can put it in a computer and spit out everybody who owns a gun.”

Hallward-Driemeier said he knew of no state or federal provision for doctors in Florida or elsewhere to provide gun owner lists to the government, noting that medical records are already protected by strict privacy laws. He argued that the law restricting doctors’ ability to discuss guns only came into being because the Republican-dominated Florida Legislature was trying to make a political point.

“The state simply cannot stop speech it believes to be a political attack,” Hallward-Driemeier said.

The panel did not issue an immediate ruling and seemed split on what to do. Judge Charles Wilson said the law appeared to him a “classic content-related restriction on speech” that impermissible singles out doctors.

Judge L. Scott Coogler, an Alabama district judge sitting by invitation on the appeals panel, said one possible ruling could be to allow doctors to ask about guns but leave intact the law’s restrictions on record-keeping and the requirement that the information be medically necessary.

“Do you have some other reason other than medical treatment that you want to ask patients about guns?” Coogler asked.

The law has been challenged by organizations representing 11,000 Florida health providers, including the Florida chapters of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians. The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, the American Civil Liberties Union and numerous other groups have joined them.

If Obama Is Actually Coming For Your Guns, He’s Really Terrible At It.

That time he signed a bill allowing concealed loaded firearms in national parks.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) introduced an amendment in 2009 permitting concealed, loaded guns in national parks to a bill about credit cards, saying differences in state and federal laws inhibited gun owners from travel between state and federal lands.

And signed a bill allowing Amtrak passengers to store handguns in their checked baggage.

Advocates of the bill, also introduced in 2009, said it gave train riders rights comparable to those possessed by plane passengers. Amtrak had allowed firearms to be carried on trains before 9/11, so the bill represented a victory for gun rights activists.

After Newtown, Obama assembled a task force to address gun violence.

Obama charged Vice President Joe Biden in December 2012 with overseeing an administration-wide process to develop proposals for Congress to take up. He urged lawmakers to reinstate a ban on assault weapons, close loopholes that allow buyers to avoid background checks and restrict high-capacity ammunition clips.

Then unveiled proposals to combat gun violence…

Obama’s legislative proposals, released in January 2013, touched upon not just access to firearms and ammunition but school safety and mental health care.

This BS has got to end.

Because of all this BS it has really brought the nuttiness out of the gun lobby and because of that we really need to keep the nuttiness out of our lives. We need to look closely at the people who are lobbying for these kinds of laws. Guns like corporations are not people. Gun’s don’t vote. Nor can they get pregnant.

Here’s the thing. This whole situation is a result of bad reactions and people going off and making emotional and bad decisions. I really believe that if talked out this could have been taken care of like rational adults and not a bunch whining babies who think  that everyone coming for their guns.

No one wants to come for guns. Least of all the medical profession. We just want to make sure that people are safe.

So please take your politics out of my medicine.

Someone please talk some logic here.

It seems that the gun lobbyists can’t control themselves and apparently they think everything is about them.


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.

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.


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.

“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.

“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.”

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.

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