07-03-2001, 10:04 PM
I know that this is old hat for some here, but it's still a very, very good read. Emphases added.
NEWS FROM THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY
2600 Virginia Avenue, NW, Suite 100
Washington DC 20037
World Wide Web: http://www.LP.org
For release: July 1, 2001
For additional information:
George Getz, Press Secretary
Phone: (202) 333-0008 Ext. 222
Doctors are 3 times as deadly as guns.
So why is the AMA targeting firearms?
WASHINGTON, DC -- Doctors kill three times as many people every year as guns do -- which is why the new head of the American Medical Association should stop crusading against guns and target incompetent physicians instead, say Libertarians.
"Message to the AMA: Doctor control would save far more lives than gun control," said Steve Dasbach, national director of the Libertarian Party.
"Instead of adopting a political agenda and working to eliminate the Second Amendment, doctors should adopt a medical agenda and work to eliminate deadly, derelict doctors."
Last week, Dr. Richard Corlin sparked a huge controversy by adopting "gun safety" as his platform when he was inaugurated as president of the American Medical Association.
Citing "an epidemic of handgun violence," Corlin demanded an increased firearms research budget for the federal Centers for Disease Control, and more studies of trigger locks and ways to reduce accidental shootings.
But Corlin failed to mention that, according to studies, doctors kill three times as many Americans each year as guns do, said Dasbach.
"According to a report by the Institute of Medicine, 98,000 Americans are killed every year by medical errors," he noted. "By contrast, 30,708 gun-related deaths occurred in 1998 -- meaning incompetent doctors are more than three times as deadly as guns."
The Institute's 1999 report called the medical error rate "stunningly high" and cited "horrific cases" of malpractice, such as a man who had the wrong leg amputated by a sloppy surgeon.
"If Corlin is concerned about saving lives, why isn't he campaigning to keep scalpels out of the hands of slipshod surgeons?" asked Dasbach. "Or demanding background checks for doctors, federal lawsuits against the medical industry, or a 'cooling off' period to keep doctors who have just injured a patient out of the operating room for a few days?"
Corlin's campaign against guns also violates the Hippocratic Oath of "First Do No Harm," Dasbach pointed out.
"Americans use guns to defend themselves 2.4 million times a year, according to the Gun Owners Foundation," he said. "So Corlin's anti-gun agenda could harm -- or even kill -- 2.4 million innocent Americans every year. That's medical malpractice on a grand scale."
Corlin ought to consider how he would react if the tables were turned, said Dasbach.
"Imagine the response from doctors if the president of the National Rifle Association started attacking an 'epidemic of operating room violence' -- and began campaigning for more medical malpractice lawsuits," he said. "Yet that's exactly what the AMA has been doing for years. These physicians have been targeting guns instead of something they actually have control over: Their incompetent colleagues who are killing 98,000 of their own patients every year."
The fact is, gun violence isn't a medical issue, it's a criminal issue, said Dasbach.
"People who use a gun to commit a crime should be arrested and prosecuted -- which is the job of the police, not doctors," he said. "Honest, peaceful gun owners should be left alone by misguided doctors masquerading as politicians.
"In other words, doctors, heal thyselves -- instead of wasting your time attacking an industry that saves millions of lives every year."
07-05-2001, 09:30 PM
:D :D Here is something you can copy and print out to give to your family Physician if he starts asking about any guns at home. :D :D
FIREARMS SAFETY COUNSELING REPRESENTATION:
PHYSICIAN QUALIFICATIONS AND LIABILITY
Part One: Qualifications
I affirm that I am certified to offer (Name of Patient: ), herineafter referred to as "the Patient", qualified advice about firearms safety in the home, having received:
Specify Course(s) of Study: _____________________________________________________________
Specify Institution(s) __________________________________________________________________
Specify Course Completion Date(s): ______________________________________________________
Specify Accreditation(s), Certification(s), License(s) etc.: ___________________________________________________________________________________
Check one, as appropriate:
___ I represent that I have reviewed applicable scientific literature pertaining to defensive gun use and beneficial results of private firearms ownership. I further represent that I have reviewed all other relevant home safety issues with the Patient, including those relating to electricity, drains, disposals, compactors, garage doors, driveway safety, pool safety, pool fence codes and special locks for pool gates, auto safety, gas, broken glass, stored cleaning chemicals, buckets, toilets, sharp objects, garden tools, home tools, power tools, lawnmowers, lawn chemicals, scissors, needles, forks, knives, etc. I also acknowledge, by receiving this document, I have been made aware that, in his inaugural address before the American Medical Association on June 20, 2001, new president Richard Corlin, MD, admitted "What we don't know about violence and guns is literally killing us...researchers do not have the data to tell how kids get guns, if trigger locks work, what the warning signs of violence in schools and at the workplace are and other critical questions due to lack of research funding." (UPI). In spite of this admission, I represent that I have sufficient data and expertise to provide expert and clinically sound advice to patients regarding firearms in the home.
___ I am knowingly engaging in Home/Firearms Safety Counseling without certification, license or formal training in Risk Management, and; I have not reviewed applicable scientific literature pertaining to defensive gun use and beneficial results of private firearms ownership.
Part Two: Liability
I have determined, from a review of my medical malpractice insurance, that if I engage in an activity for which I am not certified, such as Firearms Safety Counseling, the carrier (check one, as appropriate):
___ will ___ will not cover lawsuits resulting from neglect, lack of qualification, etc.
Insurance Carrier name, address and policy number insuring me for firearms safety expertise:
I further warrant that, should the Patient follow my firearm safety counseling and remove from the home and/or disable firearms with trigger locks or other mechanisms, and if the patient or a family member, friend or visitor is subsequently injured or killed as a result of said removal or disabling, that my malpractice insurance and/or personal assets will cover all actual and punitive damages resulting from a lawsuit initiated by the patient, the patient's legal representative, or the patient's survivors.
Signature of attesting physician and date: ___________________________________________________
Name of attesting physician (please print): __________________________________________________
Signature of patient and date: ____________________________________________________________
Name of patient (please print): ____________________________________________________________
Note to patient: Indicate if physician "REFUSED TO SIGN." Ask physician to place copy in chart/medical record.
Risk Management Advice to Physicians and Malpractice Insurance Providers: Don't Borrow Trouble
© 2000 by Joe Horn email@example.com
One of the best games in town is litigation, and litigating against physicians is even more popular than suing gun manufacturers. Physicians and their malpractice insurance carriers are well aware that litigators are constantly looking for new opportunities to sue. Let's talk about one of those new areas of liability exposure.
Nowadays, many physicians and other health care providers are engaging in the very risky, well intentioned, albeit naive and politically inspired business of asking their patients about ownership, maintenance and storage of firearms in the home, and even removal of those firearms from the home. Some could argue that this is a "boundary violation," and it probably is, but there is another very valid reason why these professionals should NOT engage in this practice -- MASSIVE LIABILITY.
Physicians are licensed and certified in the practice of medicine, the treatment of illnesses and injuries, and in preventative activities. They may advise or answer questions about those issues. However, when physicians give advice about firearms safety in the home, without certification in that field, and without physically INSPECTING that particular home and those particular firearms, they are functioning outside the practice of medicine.
Furthermore, if they fail to review the gamut of safety issues in the home, such as those relating to electricity, drains, disposals, compactors, garage doors, driveway safety, pool safety, pool fence codes and special locks for pool gates, auto safety, gas, broken glass, stored cleaning chemicals, buckets, toilets, sharp objects, garden tools, home tools, power tools, lawnmowers, lawn chemicals, scissors, needles, forks, knives, and on and on, well, you get the drift. A litigator could easily accuse that physician of being NEGLIGENT for not covering whichever one of those things that ultimately led to the death or injury of a child or any one in the family or even a visitor to the patient's home.
To engage in Home Safety Counseling without certification, license or formal training in home safety and Risk Management and to concentrate on one small politically correct area, i.e., firearms to the neglect of ALL of the other safety issues in the modern home, is to invite a lawsuit because the safety counselor, (Physician) Knew, Could have known or Should have known that there were other dangers to the occupants of that house more immediate than firearms. Things like swimming pools, buckets of water, and chemicals in homes are involved in the death or injury of many more children than accidental firearms discharge [ Source: CDC.] Firearms are a statistically small, nearly negligible fraction of the items involved in home injuries. Physicians SHOULD know that. So, why all of a sudden do some physicians consider themselves to be firearms and home safety experts? Where is their concern for all the other home safety issues that they DON'T cover with their patients?
Once physicians start down this path of home safety counseling, they are completely on their own. A review of their medical malpractice insurance will reveal that if they engage in an activity for which they are not certified, the carrier will not cover them if (or when) they are sued.
Consider a physician asking the following questions of his or her malpractice insurance carrier:
One of my patients is suing me for NOT warning them that furniture polish was poisonous and their child drank it and died. I only warned them about firearms, drugs and alcohol. Am I covered for counseling patients about firearms safety while not mentioning and giving preventative advice about ll the other dangers in the home, and doing so without formal training or certification in any aspect of home safety risk management? You know their answer.
How much training and certification do I need to become a Home Safety Expert Doctor? They will tell you that you are either a pediatrician or you are the National Safety Council. But, you don't have certification to do the National Safety Council's job for them.
Homeowners and parents are civilly or criminally responsible for the safety or lack thereof in their homes. My advice to physicians is to not borrow trouble by presuming to be able to dispense safety advice outside your area of expertise: the practice of medicine. Your insurance carrier will love you if you simply treat injuries and illnesses, dispense advice on how to care for sick or injured persons, manage sanitation problems and try to prevent disease, but stay out of the Risk Management business unless you are trained and certified to do it. For example, E.R. doctors do not tell accident victims how to drive safely.
Now, let's discuss the very serious issues involving the lawful possession and use of firearms for self and home defense, and the danger and liabilities associated with advising patients to severely encumber the firearm(s) with locked storage, or advising the patient to remove them entirely. Patient X is told by Doctor Y to remove or lock up a firearm so it is not accessible. Patient X, does as counseled and has no firearm available at close at hand. Subsequently, patient is then the victim of a home invasion and calls 911, but the police are buried in calls and don't arrive for 20 minutes during which time Patient X is raped, robbed and murdered. Anyone can see the liability issue here, particularly Risk Management specialists and liability insurance carriers.
It's just a matter of *when* and not *if* this will happen. Sooner or later, it will - if a home invasion takes place and Patient X takes Doctor Y's advice.
Now, imagine what follows this horrendous event. Who is to blame? The perpetrator is long gone, and even so, the Plaintiff's litigator will state that the perpetrator could have been neutralized by the appropriate lawful defensive use of a firearm, which *had* been in the home, but was no longer available to the deceased/injured because he/she followed a Physician's *expert* advice to render him/herself and his/her home defenseless against violent crime.
The Litigator will further argue that the Physician Knew, Could have known, Should have known that removing a firearm from use for home defense would result in harm to the patient if and when a crime was committed against the patient in the home, as any reasonable person would have surmised.
If one acknowledges the already dangerous general liability of home safety counseling and then adds the very risky practice of advising patients to disarm themselves in the face of the reality of violent crime daily perpetrated against home owners, condo and apartment tenants, it is apparent that the Physician is placing him/herself in a very risky position for suit.
It is my strong recommendation to Malpractice Carriers and those Physicians they insure to strictly avoid this high risk practice and reserve counseling for the area of expertise in which they are certified: Medicine. In my professional opinion, this is an emotionally charged political issue that Physicians and their Carriers should not be manipulated for whatever well-intentioned reason into taking the risk, which is considerable......
Physicians in doubt of the veracity of what I've said are encouraged to call their carriers and ask them what they currently cover, and to ask if this new counseling policy is covered under the existing policy. We already know what they will say: Don't borrow trouble.
Since retiring from the LA County Sheriff's Department, Mr. Horn has provided Risk Management and related issue Human Resource consulting. Among other firms, he has consulted to IBM, Gates Learjet, National Semiconductor, and Pinkerton International Protection Services. :mad:
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