Friday, November 11, 2011

Hey Doc - shut up and sing diagnose!

Doctors and gun control - it's back:

Doctors in America are up in arms over the suggestion that they have no business advising their patients on gun ownership and safety. The incensed medics insist that it's their duty to tell Americans not to keep guns in the home, or if they do, to keep them unloaded and locked away.

The debate on this issue was kicked off in June when a law went into effect in Florida which placed limits on doctors' ability to ask their patients what guns they owned and how they kept them stored, and prevented them entering any such information into people's medical records. ...

The passage of the Florida law made Dr Eric Fleegler of the Children's Hospital Boston pretty mad. He and some colleagues have written a paper, published today in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, which contends that guns kept at home are a major danger to Americans - particularly to American children.


A different press release issued by the Journal of Preventive Medicine editorial office also adds:
The American Academy of Pediatrics ... notes that a gun in the home is 43 times more likely to be used to kill a friend or family member than a burglar or other criminal.
Oh no it's not

And so once again we see a situation where orthodoxy is imposed via crummy statistical methods.  Run up a dodgy study, suppress reporting of egregious mistakes in the study via a biased media that's stuck in a swamp of confirmation bias, and voila!  Instant "settled" science.

Personally, if my doc tries to pull this on me, I'm going to warn him that (a) I almost certainly understand the statistics better than he does, (b) I absolutely understand the broken "scientific" process in play better than he does, and (c) unless he can convince me that I'm wrong on those, I will assume that his acceptance of quackery is more of a health risk to me than having a gun in the house.

But the conversation will probably never happen.  It's Atlanta, not Boston, and so it means we're more likely to discuss which caliber is better.

American Academy of Pediatrics, heal thyself.


Bob said...

"But the conversation will probably never happen. It's Atlanta, not Boston, and so it means we're more likely to discuss which caliber is better."

Damn, Ted, you're assimilating pretty quickly. *grins*

Anonymous said...

Do doctors have a legitimate medical reason to discuss firearms with their patients?


Is it extremely limited in scope?


Some conditions that can be exacerbated by repeated long exposure to lead and/or unburned powder from range visits is a legitimate (though highly uncommon) concern. Otherwise, it'd be like a doctor telling you not to drive because of the risk of an automobile accident.

My doctor, and most that I know personally are not and never have been members of the AMA or any similar organization. They're too disgusted with the politics of an organization that should be focused on medical issues.

Home on the Range said...

From USA Carry:

Doctors vs. Gun Owners

(A) The number of physicians in the U.S. is 700,000.
(B) Accidental deaths caused by Physicians per year are:
(C) Accidental deaths per physician is:

Statistics courtesy of U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services.

Now think about this:
(A) The number of gun owners in the U.S. is 80,000,000.
(Yes, that's 80 million)
(B) The number of accidental gun deaths per year, all age groups, is:
(C) The number of accidental deaths per gun owner is:

Statistics courtesy of FBI
So, statistically, doctors are approximately
9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners.
Remember, 'Guns don't kill people, doctors do.'
almost everyone has at least one doctor.


Kerry said...

"43 times more likely to be used to kill a friend or family member", but those 50 million blobs of undifferentiated tissue mass are only children if you didn't kill them.

Old NFO said...

Brigid beat me to it... Sigh...

Borepatch said...

Bob, yes I am. ;-)

Matt L. said...

Interesting that doctors shouldn't talk about guns. I had a firearm discussion with a patient recently. He was wearing a Glock armorers hat. I said I was an M&P man, myself. Funny thing, we got along.

Anonymous said...

I talk with my patients about them all the time.

We discuss proper firearm education for young people, proper calibers for deer, favorite loads, semiauto vs revolver, bolt vs semi auto, lever vs bolt.

I explain that the best firearm education takes place at home, and is controlled by the parents, just like the best sex education, the best drug education, and the best preparation for life.

All of those should take place in the home, not in the institutionalized indoctrination rooms we call public schools!

Borepatch said...


Doc, I'd use you as my doctor anytime! Of course, this is all too sensible for the AMA.