Thursday, February 23, 2006

We don't understand the way some conservative Muslims feel about speech when it involves the Prophet Muhammad -- but apparently some conservative Americans have a rather similar attitude about speech that involves an object of their worship. From The Virginian-Pilot:

Bill would bar doctors from asking about guns

CHESAPEAKE -- A pediatrician who asks a child's parent about firearms in their home could lose his or her license or be disciplined under legislation being considered by a Senate committee today.

The bill would prohibit health care professionals from asking a patient about gun possession, ownership or storage unless the patient is being treated for an injury related to guns or asks for safety counseling about them.

Sponsored by Del. Ward Armstrong, D-Martinsville, the bill sailed through the House by a vote of 88 to 11 last week....

Here's some information about the horrible practice these legislators want to outlaw:

The legislation is opposed by The Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics because it blocks a common practice by medical professionals to inquire about gun ownership and safety when they go over a safety checklist with parents during a child's regular checkups from birth to puberty....

Medical professionals are encouraged to use the routine safety survey to counsel parents about everything from car safety seats and child-proofing a house and backyard pool to bicycle helmets and fire safety once the child reaches the appropriate age.

Pediatricians use the checklist to curtail preventable injuries, such as poisoning by household cleaning products, not to be intrusive, say Virginia physicians....

Note that one possible punishment for the profane utterance of the holy name of Gun is the loss of one's license to practice medicine. By comparison, here's what you can do in Virginia and still remain a doctor:

Over the past 20 years, John F. Pholeric Jr. struggled on and off with cocaine addiction, cycled in and out of rehab and was convicted of a felony. During that time, he also practiced medicine.

Pholeric, 55, an ear, nose and throat specialist in Fairfax and Loudoun counties, admitted snorting cocaine "three to four times per week" in his office in 1999. He stole drugs from hospitals where he worked and wrote more than 40 fraudulent prescriptions for his own use, according to Virginia and District medical board records.

Several times, the Virginia Board of Medicine took up Pholeric's case. But it never took away his license to practice.

Pholeric, who retired last month after he was questioned by a Washington Post reporter about his substance abuse, is not alone. Virginia Board of Medicine records show that an Arlington ophthalmologist who performed cataract surgery under the influence, his hands shaking and his speech slurred, still has his license. So does a Loudoun County gastroenterologist who deprived his colonoscopy patients of painkillers and injected himself with the drugs between operations....

Ah, but that's just putting patients' lives in danger. This is a grave offense to the sacred Weapon (Peace Be Unto It)! This cannot be tolerated! (And I'm sure it won't be tolerated -- if this bill passes, I'm sure the NRA will make certain that it's enforced to the letter.)

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