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Tuesday, October 9th 2007

Guidelines In The Wrong Hands

Those wrong hands namely being some parents. A Boston Herald reporter goes off on pediatricians asking kids about their parent’s substance abuse habits and gun ownership.

I send my daughter to the pediatrician to find out if she’s fit to play lacrosse, and the doctor spends her time trying to find out if her mom and I are drunk, drug-addicted sex criminals.

We’re not alone, either. Thanks to guidelines issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics and supported by the commonwealth, doctors across Massachusetts are interrogating our kids about mom and dad’s “bad” behavior.

We used to be proud parents. Now, thanks to the AAP, we’re “persons of interest.”

The paranoia over parents is so strong that the AAP encourages doctors to ignore “legal barriers and deference to parental involvement” and shake the children down for all the inside information they can get.

What type of crap-ass characterization is this? It gets worse once we he gets on gun ownership.

Last year, my 7-year-old was asked about my guns during his physical examination. He promptly announced to the doctor that his father is the proud owner of a laser sighted plasma rifle perfect for destroying Throggs.

At least as of this writing, no police report has been filed.

“I still like my previous pediatrician,” Debbie told me. “She seemed embarrassed to ask the gun questions and apologized afterward. But she didn’t seem to have a choice.”

Of course doctors have a choice.

They could choose, for example, to ask me about my drunken revels, and not my children.

They could choose not to put my children in this terrible position.

They could choose, even here in Massachusetts, to leave their politics out of the office.

But the doctors aren’t asking us parents.

The emphasis is my own.

Politics? This is paranoid, deluded gun ownership lobby talk. Look, there is no bigger supporter of gun rights than myself but that is in spite of the public health risk firearms represent. To present this as a political position of the AAP and the medical community is to deny that fact. Which I think is insane whenever I hear such. Every piece of legitimate data supports that firearms are a public health disaster. There’s no systemic bias in the research leaving out gun protection incidents, there’s no miscounting, there’s no grey area. Guns kill way more innocent people than they protect.

Children in this country are more likely to die by firearm than leukemia. And there’s something wrong, there’s something political about asking your children in private about gun residence in the house and their understanding of gun safety?

Like it’s appropriate to have parental influence on the answers to these questions. Sorry they didn’t ask you to your face. *rolls eyes*

The reporter throws out a story where some parents were reported to the police (without consequence) merely for legally owning guns. To begin with we know nothing about the facts of this case beyond what this reporter chooses to grace us with and second, a single story of an overzealous pediatrician is not data. On the whole how can anyone think it’s appropriate to let a child walk out of the office without asking about firearms or about other home safety issues?

The op/ed ends with the most ridiculous of comments concerning questioning children about sexual abuse.

Worst of all, they’re asking all kids about sexual abuse without any provocation or probable cause.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has declared all parents guilty until proven innocent.

I feel like my head is going to explode. I love how he mixes the legal terms of popular culture/understanding into a situation on which they shed no light. Probable cause…to ask a question? Even in the right situation that doesn’t make sense. Like the police need such to ask you…anything.

Pediatricians stamping parents as guilty? That assumes a question is equatable with an accusation. I don’t know how this guy got hired as a columnist with that kind’ve logic. Seriously, my advice to him is to go take a rhetoric class. You have to be a paranoid nutjob to write this op/ed. Or take it seriously.

Oh well, that’s the joy of this system Mr. Graham, go find yourself another pediatrician who won’t ask all these personal, intrusive, inappropriate questions.

You can scratch pediatrics off my list, if I have to deal with morons like this.

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