In a move which may gain President Obama a lot more friends in the medical community, Obama has asked doctors to help him fight gun violence. Christine S. Moyer has reported for American Medical News today, Jan. 28, 2013, Obama enlists doctors for gun violence prevention. As part of his multifaceted plan to reduce gun violence President Obama has called on physicians to play an important role in decreasing shooting
deaths and injuries in communities nationwide.
This initiative, which was first made public on Jan. 16, one month after 20 first-graders and six adults were massacred at a Connecticut school, encourages physicians to talk to patients about gun safety and to warn law enforcement about threats of violence. Obama has clarified that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors from discussing gun safety. And, the president has assured physicians that they can report credible threats of violence without being worried about penalties from the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Privacy Rule.
Obama has also authorized the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to open up new research on the causes and prevention of gun violence. Obama’s plan to fight gun violence, which is estimated to cost $500 million, consists of legislative proposals which need congressional approval and 23 executive actions he can implement on his own. Obama’s interests in having physicians discuss gun safety and reporting threats of violence are covered under his executive actions.
As long as these initiatives do not undermine the human rights of people who are said to have suffered from depression and other mental illness, but who are nevertheless peaceful people who would never hurt anyone, President Obama’s initiative has the potential to gain great momentum among the entire medical profession. It is also hoped by activist groups that President Obama will address the very serious problem of psychiatric drugs often setting off suicidal and homicidal ideation and acts.
Jim Gottstein, JD, the President and CEO of PsychRights, has written in a letter to the President’s Task Force on Gun Violence, which has been published by Mad in America, that in respect to the propensity of psychiatric drugs to cause violence, a clear link between psychiatric drugs and violence has been demonstrated. Keeping these concerns in mind, overall it appears the a vast majority of physicians in the country consider it a very worthwhile endeavor to help President Obama fight the rising tide of senseless gun violence across the United States.