You're A Doctor. Please Verify I Can Carry a Gun.

Here's a connection you may not have made in the past.  Doctors and guns.

But a new survey of North Carolina doctors has found that many are concerned about the increasing number of requests they are receiving to assess their patients’ competency to carry concealed weapons.

In particular, a majority of physicians who responded to the survey said they were worried about the potential ethical consequences in the doctor-patient relationship if they participated in the concealed-weapon permit process, according to

“This is not a small problem,” the Web site quotes Dr. Adam Goldstein, corresponding author of the study and a professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. “More than 20 percent of the physicians we surveyed have been asked to sign competency permits for concealed weapons, and a majority of them do not feel they can adequately assess the physical or mental competence of their patients to safely have a concealed weapons permit.”

You know as well as I do that people can conceal qualities that might disqualify them from being eligible for certain privileges.  We only know what we see on the outside.  Did any of Adam Lanza's doctors think for even a minute that he could commit such a heinous crime?

The study is believed to be the first that examines physicians’ attitudes, beliefs and behaviors regarding their emerging role in the assessment of physical and mental competency and the licensing of concealed weapons, newswise notes.

The survey found that physicians involved in concealed-weapon permitting sign off on permits almost 80 percent of the time, despite their uncertainty. “If physicians do not feel that they can adequately assess their patients’ competence yet are still giving approval for concealed-weapon permits, then there is something wrong with the system,” said first author John Pierson, a second-year medical student at UNC.

“We discovered that the great majority of physicians feel that assessments for concealed weapons permits should best be done by providers specifically trained in making such assessments," said  Kathy Barnhouse, MD from the UNC School of Medicine, "presumably with standards to make assessments about mental and physical competence.”

How do you feel about this?  Should doctors be the gatehouse on whether a person should be allowed to carry a gun?  I don't.  But who should?


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