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Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Inc.
P.O. Box 270143
Hartford, WI 53027

Phone (262) 673-9745
Fax (262) 673-9746


Is Your Doctor a Spy?

By Richard W. Stevens

Can you trust your doctor to protect your privacy? Not after the front group called Doctors Against Handgun Injury gets done. This umbrella organization wants doctors, even psychiatrists, to examine their patients … looking for guns.

This front group has powerful and moneyed supporters: the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and other groups claiming to represent collectively over 600,000 doctors. The plan is simple: as part of a routine history and examination, doctors will probe patients about their gun ownership. The information goes into the patient’s permanent medical file. Doctors are becoming political soldiers in the war on private firearms ownership.

The Doctors’ Gun Probe

Last year JPFO published a member’s encounter with his doctor’s gun probe. The member was not suffering from anything like “gun sickness” or “ammo allergy,” yet the doctor asked him:

This questioning presents three dangers. First, it shows that the "public health" argument for victim disarmament has moved from ideas to action. Doctors are advancing the agenda.

Second, because patients generally trust their doctors, many patients will think the questions are proper and justified ... because their doctor asked them. Our JPFO supporter refused to answer most of these questions -- but many other patients will simply comply.

Third, although medical records are supposed to be confidential, that is likely to change soon. Lobbyists have repeatedly pressed Congress to mandate a universal medical identification chip. The chip would contain all of a person's medical records – and that means private gun ownership information becomes part of a national data base.

When doctors collect firearms ownership data, they are helping to build a national gun owner identification system. Even now senior citizens and others using Medicare and Medicaid are subject to having their medical records reviewed by government agents.

The front group’s plan also encourages doctors to counsel their patients against having firearms, especially firearms that are immediately handy for defensive use. So the doctors become political advocates as well as data spies.

Physicians Warn Of Lethal Trend

But many physicians object to this plan and fear its consequences. Dr. Timothy Wheeler, of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership, has shown that asking medically irrelevant questions violates the doctor’s ethics in the doctor-patient relationship. Writing in the Medical Sentinel, Dr. Wheeler explained: "A patient who seeks medical or psychiatric treatment is often in a uniquely dependent, anxious, vulnerable, and exploitable state. … In seeking help, patients assume positions of relative powerlessness in which they expose their dignity, and reveal intimacies of body or mind, or both.” In this state, “the patient relies heavily on the physician to act only in the patient's interest and not the physician's."

When the doctor becomes a “gun control” advocate, the doctor advances his or her political agenda, not the patient’s well being. Worse, the doctor becomes an arm of the government – with potentially deadly consquences for a nation.

For terrifying historical reasons, Dr. Miguel Faria, of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons, strongly opposes the doctors’ gun probe. He recently wrote: “Physicians should know better from the medical experience in both the former Soviet Union and Nazi Germany in the 20th century.” In the Soviet Union, psychiatry “became a tool of the totalitarian state.”

Drawing on research about the medical profession in Nazi Germany, Dr. Faria has explained about the “early changes in medical attitudes that predisposed German physicians to first collect data on their patients to conduct what today we call cost-effective analysis.” These “small beginnings” soon “led the physicians to collect data from their patients and then violate their patients' privacy and medical record confidentiality by supplying the information to the state.”

Action Plan: Don’t Bend Over

What you can do:

  1. Tell everyone you know to refuse to answer doctors' questions about personal firearms ownership -- even if they don't own a firearm. Health care professionals have no business asking such questions, period.
  2. If your doctor asks questions about your firearms ownership, ask why the doctor is asking, and then report the matter as an invasion of privacy to the hospital.
  3. Click on www.jpfo.org – get the articles such as “Disarming the Data Doctors” (helps doctors fight “gun control” dogma), and Dr. Thompson’s “Raging Against Self-Defense” (a psychiatrist’s view of the anti-gun mentality).

Look for the new Gran’pa Jack booklet: “Do Gun Prohibitionists Have A Mental Problem?” Call JPFO at (800) 869-1884 to order materials or join ($20 annual dues, tax deductible).

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