Psychiatrists and others argued that asking patients about the presence of guns in their homes would help them evaluate whether patients might pose a danger to themselves or the community and that such discussions would go a long way toward preventing suicides. They maintained as well that the law illegally infringed on the doctor-patient relationship by interfering with their ability to provide the medical care their patients might require. Cooke said in her ruling that censoring what physicians could talk about during medical visits has had a "chilling" effect on medical care. "What is curious about this law," she said, "is that it aims to restrict a practitioner's ability to provide truthful, nonmisleading information to a patient, whether relevant or not at the time of the consult with the patient." The Florida Department of Health hasn't announced whether it will appeal the ruling.
To read more about this law and the fight to undo it, see Psychiatric News here and here.
(image: Guy J. Sagi/Shutterstock.com)