Did A Pediatrician Turn Away Kids Because Of Guns In The Home?

A Florida Mom claims that a pediatrician discharged her kids from his care when she hesitated answering a question about firearms in the home. The doctor has never expressly stated why the children are no longer welcome in his office, but the Mom is convinced it's because of guns in the home.   She was given 30 days to find a new pediatrician.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, pediatricians are urged to inform parents about the dangers of guns in and outside the home and they recommend that they incorporate questions about guns into their patient history taking and urge parents who have guns to remove them from the home.

Doctors are not required by Law to see patients.


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Here's my two cents as a pediatrician:
In this age of vaccination and antibiotics, most of the significant decrease in mortality is going to come from accident prevention and preventing chronic diseases of adulthood. (For pediatricians, the latter mostly involves preventing smoking and obesity.) Pediatricians save a lot more lives through "anticipatory guidance" and prevention than with any sort of wizardry with diagnosis and treatment. Since it seems so commonplace, patients often don't especially see this part of a visit as important.
I rarely ever fire patients, since I think kids with jerks for parents probably need a good doctor as much or more than than kids with good parents. However, many doctors take the approach that a parent who has a basic disagreement with the doctor's approach would be better served with another doctor (or is just a pain in the ass, and not worth having as a customer.)
Over the years, the leading cause of parents dropping me as their child's doctor has been my telling them to quit smoking. It's always a balancing act to be forceful enough to motivate parents without alienating them, and I don't always get it right.
I do ask about firearms in the home. If they're present, I talk about safe storage (for little kids) and about keeping firearms out of the home completely ("store your deer rifle at grandpa's house") during the years when kids are prone to suicide. ("When your 16 year old son comes back from the party where he sees his ex-girlfriend with her new boyfriend, I'd rather he came home to a house without a gun.")
There are certainly doctors who don't bother to address uncomfortable subjects like parental smoking, guns in the house, excess television watching or refusing vaccinations. The doctors probably spare themselves a lot of hassle and get home for dinner more often than I do, but I don't think they're doing a service to the children they care for.
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