Counseling About Firearms: Proposed Legislation Is a Threat to Physicians and Their Patients
Vernick, Jon S.
Teret, Stephen P.
Smith, Gary A.
Webster, Daniel W.
Link to Published Abstract
Topics: Education/Counseling Legislation and Policy Medical State
Keywords: BILLS, Legislative HEALTH counseling Legal status, laws, etc. PATIENT education PHYSICIAN & patient
Bibliographic information +
In early 2006, two separate but virtually identical bills were introduced in the Virginia and West Virginia legislatures that would have prohibited a physician from asking a patient if he or she owned firearms for the purpose of counseling that patient about ways to reduce risks associated with firearms. The Virginia and West Virginia bills were contrary to the best-practices recommendations of medical societies, including the American Academy of Pediatrics. The two bills raise legal issues regarding both medical malpractice and the First Amendment protection of the freedom of speech. Although neither bill became law in 2006, this type of bill is likely to reappear in future legislative sessions.
Vernick, J. S., Teret, S. P., Smith, G. A., & Webster, D. W. (2006). Counseling About Firearms: Proposed Legislation Is a Threat to Physicians and Their Patients. Pediatrics, 118(5), 2168-2172.
Vernick, Jon S., et al. "Counseling About Firearms: Proposed Legislation Is a Threat to Physicians and Their Patients." Pediatrics 118.5 (2006): 2168-72.