Gun Laws and Medical Malpractice?

Recent concerns center upon the impact of gun laws on medical care. In a July, 2014 ruling, the Atlanta Court of Appeals upheld the Florida law that "discourages doctors from asking patients about gun ownership".

The court stated that such information should not be inquired about if it is deemed to be irrelevant to the patient medical care. Physicians are urged not to unnecessarily ask questions relating to a patients gun possession, as they could face discipline "for not practicing good medicine". The Atlanta Court relied upon the Firearm Owners' Protection Act which gives a person the right to own a firearm.

Some medical care providers consider this information as being important to providing proper care to a patient. In a July 28, 2014, article in The Wall Street Journal, "Court Ruling Discouraging Doctors From Asking About Guns Sparks Concerns", President of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. James Perrin, stated that the basic information is important, especially when it comes to issues such as counseling parents about safety and protecting their children.

Mr. Steven North, New York City medical malpractice attorney states that generally failing to inquire and report about gun possession where appropriate might expose the physician to disciplinary or medical malpractice claims.