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Constitutional Law

If a Patient Has a Cold, Why Does a Doc Need to Know About Guns, a Federal Judge Wonders

Posted Jul 13, 2011 5:11 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Physicians fighting a Florida law that restricts them from asking all patients about guns or dropping a patient simply because he or she has a firearm could be facing an uphill legal battle.

During a court hearing today on a lawsuit filed by several physician groups, an assistant attorney general said the doctors are misreading the statute and a federal judge expressed skepticism about their case, reports the Associated Press.

The physicians say asking about guns, as a number of standard questionnaires do, is a legitimate inquiry about patient health.

"What's relevant about asking about my gun when I came in with a cold?" said U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke. "Maybe it's the other way around. Maybe the questionnaire is overbroad and not the statute."

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