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Gun Violence

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Physicians and nurses have a responsibility of treating patients, and prevent possible reoccurrence of the case at hand. The Florida Senate Bill 432 and House Bill155 prevent doctors and nurses from enquiring about gun ownership from their patients. Such an enquiry may result to a jail term or a significant fine. This jeopardizes the work of physicians since; they always ask questions with an intention of helping their patients. Enquiring from a parent about gun possession helps in ensuring safety of children. This is through preventing hurting themselves or using the gun to hurt others. However, the bill may prevent pediatricians from such enquiries through the legislation of this bill. The main concern remains how best this will help pediatricians in their work, and a possibility of widening the gap between a pediatrician and the patient.

Pediatricians and nurse practitioners should not be restricted from extracting any information from the patient, or the patient’s child that would serve to help in offering the service. Such information would not be geared towards advising whether or not to own a gun, but towards proper storage of the firearm to avoid the reach by children. This will reduce the risk that children may pose to themselves, and to those around them. It is hard to establish when the enquiry is relevant to the medical care of the patient or the safety of others. Any information that a practitioner asks should be helpful to the patient. Thus, a practitioner should be given the freedom to ask what may help him treat his patient, and avoid the same case tomorrow. The practitioner should be given the freedom to ask information that deems relevant to help his patient. He should ensure that he sticks to the oath of secrecy that prevents him from sharing his patient’s information without patient’s consent.

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