Health care professionals misusing their patients’ trust to push a political agenda of gun control is called an ethical boundary violation.
You may encounter the question in your health plan’s standard health appraisal questionnaire. Even though it may not be of your doctor’s making (your doctor may very likely just be going along with the guidelines of his or her gun-hating medical organization such as the AAP or ACP), it’s still part of your permanent medical record. Or your doctor may have a personal prejudice against gun ownership, shaped by her training in medical school or residency. Either way, it is important for people to know some very important facts:
• Doctors receive absolutely no training about firearm safety, mechanics, or tactics in medical school or residency. They are completely unqualified by their training to advise anyone about guns.
This does not include cases where a doctor casually talks with you about guns out of a common interest you both may have.
So what can you do when your doctor or your health plan starts asking you about guns in your home?
A range of options is available to you, some sending a more powerful message than others.
1) Politely refuse to answer the doctor’s question or the health plan’s questionnaire item about guns. You can either explain your discomfort with the question or decline to give a reason.
Remember when writing your complaint to be polite. Explain why you find the doctor’s or health plan’s behavior unacceptable. Include the powerful points we’ve discussed:
• Your doctor is professionally unqualified to give expert advice on firearms
Your right to own a firearm is enshrined in the Constitution. Don’t let any doctor or health plan intimidate you into giving up your civil rights.