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Doctors and gun questions don't mix, Florida legislation says. What do you think?

May 10, 2011|By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times / for the Booster Shots blog
(M. Ryder / Tribune Media…)

Doctors will be banned from asking patients whether there are guns in the home, under legislation expected to be signed into law by Florida Gov. Rick Scott. 

Whether a person has guns in the house may not immediately sound like a medical or health-oriented question -- unless you count not dying as a health issue. Doctors, for example, can ask patients whether they have pools, so that they can counsel them on pool safety issues. That's an important service for some parents of young children: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a third of all unintentional deaths of children between 1 and 4 years of age were due to drowning in 2007. People often don't realize what risks there are in their own households -- and guns at home do seem to fall into that category.

The bill was supported by the National Rifle Assn., whose lobbyist called such questions and advice from doctors "moral judgment" and "privacy intrusions," according to NPR.

Forbes, on the other hand, called it "a massive intrusion of government into the doctors office."

What do you think? Should it be illegal for doctors to ask about guns in the home and talk to patients about firearm safety? Post your thoughts below.

Follow me on Twitter @LAT_aminakhan.

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