Patients want to trust their provider to not make mistakes and to not lie to them. Unfortunately, when it comes to guns, medical organizations have not been living up to that expectation. Medical associations have been insinuating an anti-gun political agenda into the patient-doctor relationship for decades. Patients are routinely being asked about gun ownership. Worse, many physicians commit boundary violations by pressing anti-gun messages on patients.
Frankly, medicine has an institutional bias against guns. To counter this, DRGO has launched 2Adoc.com, a referral service that will connect patients with healthcare providers who respect their second amendment rights and who won’t engage in anti-gun activism in the patient exam room.
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In February of 2017, the 11th circuit court struck down key provisions of Florida’s Firearm Owners’ Privacy Act in the Wollschlaeger vs. Governor of Florida case (commonly termed “Docs vs. Glocks”). That ruling gives uninformed and anti-gun doctors legal cover to abuse the doctor-patient relationship to further a political agenda.
This was an unfortunate conclusion to a nearly decade-long saga. In 2010, Amber Ullman and her daughter were terminated from their pediatrician’s practice for refusing to tell the pediatrician whether she had a gun in her home on the grounds of privacy. Many other such instances had occurred, leading to the creation of Florida’s Firearm Owners’ Privacy Act.
This issue is a continuing nationwide problem. The case of my 90 year old, bed-ridden mother-in-law who lives in a nursing home in Los Angeles illustrates the extent of the problem: Just recently, she was taken to an off-site specialist consultation. The paperwork my wife had to fill out included questions about the presence of firearms in the home.
Personally, I would prefer that there are firearms in the nursing home where my mother-in-law stays. The patients and and their caretakers are vulnerable soft targets. That aside, what in the name of all that is sane does the question about firearms ownership have to do with an evaluation of a feeding tube in a 90 year old, non-ambulatory nursing home resident? That question is absolutely irrelevant to her care and not warranted by her history and clinical picture.
As demonstrated in a recent study from Jane Garbutt, MB published in the Journal of Pediatrics, a physician’s opinion on non-medical matters can hold a lot of sway with patients. Gun owners are unlikely to follow the advice of physicians who urge them to get rid of their guns. People who are not gun owners (and, thus, less likely aware of concerns over the validity of doctors advising about guns) are more likely to follow their doctors’ advice. The ramification of that happening on a national scale is concerning to those who care about the Bill of Rights.
DRGO believes that a patient’s gun ownership is none of their healthcare provider’s business. Only in exceptional cases, where specific clinical circumstances warrant, should a healthcare provider inquire about gun ownership or discuss any aspects of ownership.
In response to a growing number of inquiries to DRGO for recommendations of healthcare professionals who respect patient privacy and the right to keep and bear arms, DRGO conceived 2Adoc.com as a way to help patients find healthcare providers who respect their constitutional rights.
Here, then, is an explanation of how the directory and referral service will work:
What will 2Adoc.com do?
Free of charge to provider and patient, the service will provide, upon request, contact information for providers (in a requested specialty and location) who have signed up for the directory.
Who can/should sign up with 2Adoc.com?
All healthcare providers – allopathic physicians, osteopathic physicians, dentists, chiropractors, psychotherapists, psychologists, counselors, optometrists, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, etc – who respect their patients’s right to privacy and to keep and bear arms are encouraged to sign up.
What benefit does 2Adoc.com bring?
The service will allow patients to find healthcare providers who won’t badger them or penalize them for owning firearms.
The service will allow providers to add patients to their practice.
What will 2Adoc.com not do?
The directory will not be published online or anywhere else.
The service will not verify provider credentials and licensing.
The service will not screen potential patients in any manner.
A full disclaimer is available at 2Adoc.com
DRGO invites all healthcare providers who respect Second Amendment rights to join 2Adoc.com . We hope soon to start connecting patients and providers.
—Arthur Z Przebinda, MD is an imaging specialist in Southern California. He advocates for the Second Amendment in his state and nationally and since 2017 serves as DRGO’s Project Director.