Our right to free speech as physicians is under attack. Several states are considering laws to penalize physicians if they ask patients the basic safety screening question, “Do you keep a gun at home?”
Such a law is awaiting the governor’s signature in Florida, and similar bills have been introduced in other states.1 These bills are moving fast and we need a unified defense from every state, from every specialty, and from every practice setting NOW – before more lawmakers enter our exam rooms.
This law is being heavily covered in the press. As soon as we have enough signers we’ll tell local and national reporters that this is alarming doctors from every state and every specialty.
Proponents of this intrusive regulation frame the issue as protecting the privacy rights of gun-owners. But this isn’t about guns. It is a direct threat to the doctor-patient relationship. It censors clinical communication.
What will lawmakers and special interests seek to regulate next? Will it be too intrusive to ask whether a patient uses tobacco? Whether a patient takes prescription drugs prescribed by another doctor?
Physicians ask questions in the exam room that would be invasive in other settings because we need this information to do our jobs, protecting the health, safety, and welfare of our patients.
Help us stop censorship in our exam rooms NOW, before it’s too late – sign the petition defending physicians’ right to free speech now.
1 – http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2011-05-13-nra-doctors-guns_n.html
PS – It’s critical that we get a response on this petition in every state, and from every specialty and practice setting. Please forward this post to your physician contacts and share on facebook by clicking here.