‘The Daily Show’ Rips Insane Florida Law Banning Doctors From Talking To Patients About Guns (VIDEO)

A recent episode of “The Daily Show” featured a segment on a Florida law that bans doctors from talking about guns with their patients. While the law was passed more than a year ago, the episode comes in response to a statement issued by some of the most prestigious medical organizations in the U.S. who say that the law violates physician free speech and also interferes with the doctor-patient relationship.

In February, a group that includes eight of the most widely respected medical organizations in the United States issued a national “call to action.” Based on the most recent statistics, which revealed that more than 33,000 Americans were killed by firearms in 2013, and more than twice as many were injured, the group called on medical professionals across the country to begin treating gun violence as a “public health crisis.”

Organizations made up of leading medical professionals, such as the American College of Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Public Health Association, along with four other leading professional health organizations, were also joined by the American Bar Association, in issuing the urgent “call to action.”

In part, the statement stresses the need for members of the medical community to be allowed to study and address deaths and injuries caused by firearms “without political influence or restrictions.”

Among other things, the organizations specifically denounced gag orders, like the one put in place last year in Florida, which bars doctors from speaking to patients about guns or gun safety.

Patients trust their physicians to advise them on issues that affect their health, and physicians can answer questions and educate the public on the risks of firearm ownership and the need for firearm safety. Often, these confidential conversations occur during regular examinations and are a natural part of the patient–physician relationship. Because of this, our organizations oppose state and federal mandates that interfere with physician free speech and the patient–physician relationship, including laws that forbid physicians to discuss a patient’s gun ownership.

When appropriate, physicians can intervene with patients who are at risk for injuring themselves or others due to firearm access. To do so, physicians must be allowed to speak freely to their patients in a nonjudgmental manner about firearms, provide patients with factual information about firearms relevant to their health and the health of those around them, fully answer their patients’ questions, and advise them on the course of behaviors that promote health and safety without fear of liability or penalty. Physicians must also be able to document these conversations in the medical record as they are able and required to do with discussion of other behaviors that can affect health.

A recent episode of “The Daily Show” exposes the absurdity of Florida’s physician gag order on guns. Here’s the video segment, titled “The G-Word” courtesy of the Comedy Central.

Nine of the nation’s most highly respected organizations have determined that gun violence in the U.S. is “a public health crisis.” In 2013, more than 100,000 U.S. citizens were injured or killed by firearms.

In 2012, West Nile Virus, which infected 2,873 people, killing 286, was considered a public health crisis. Instead of barring doctors from discussing the crisis, health care professionals were urged by government officials to “educate the public.”

Yet, in just one year 33,000 people died, and another 70,000 plus were injured by firearms. In response, state legislatures ordered doctors to stay silent. They were forbidden from taking any action to reduce the number of injuries or deaths, and barred from educating the public on the extent of the problem, or ways to prevent it.

Thanks to the NRA, and the crooked, evil politicians who take their blood money, health care professionals in some parts of the country are literally barred from doing what they are sworn to do — protect the health and well-being of the patients in their care.


*Featured image credit: video screen capture, The Daily Show, via Comedy Central