The Horrific Newtown Shooting and the Inconvenient Facts About Gun Control, Mental Illness and How the Physician Community Shoul
Posted Dec 17 2012 10:22am
Like millions of other Americans, the Disease Management Care Blog was transfixed by Mr. Obama's comments at last night's Newtown vigil. The President passionately spoke for and to the nation in a time of heartbreaking grief. Well done, sir.
Then reality set in.
Unfortunately, there are a number of inconvenient truths that are more than a match for President's considerable intelligence and persuasive rhetoric.
4) No corner of health care delivery is immune from the mischief of electronic health records (EHRs) and gun control is no exception. Should gun owners be concerned that a) millions of unintended data breaches or b) government " background checks " of health information exchanges could increase their vulnerability?
And then there is the thorny issue of mental illness.
DMCB take-aways The DMCB has seen the President confidently direct his considerable rhetorical skills at topics like global warming and war in the Middle East. While Mr. Obama is well-meaning, guns may similarly be beyond his political skills, especially because he's a 2nd termer with limited political capital.
While Newtown has shocked the conscience of a nation, the DMCB is not holding its breath.
That doesn't mean America's docs can't be of assistance. In addition to dusting off, recycling and renewing their current policies, physicians need to keep things in perspective and
a) lead the discussion on the use of predictive modeling to identify potentially violent patients. How do we reconcile the privacy rights of persons with mental illness with a constitutionally broad right to bear firearms? If we remain silent on this, the lawyers will decide and it won't be pretty.
b) confront the possibility that the EHR is a threat to gunowners. If not, explain why it wouldn't be cross-referenced with firearm licensing, pharmacy records or used to perform background checks?
c) advocate for fixing the mental health system so that parents who are struggling with a deeply disturbed child can get the help they need.