Saturday, July 26, 2014

Of Guns and Ducks

Around the web, I thought I'd point out some interesting stories:

A federal court upheld the legality of a Florida law which forbids doctors to discuss gun ownership with patients. The law, passed in 2011, was challenged as being a violation of a doctor's right to free speech.  Apparently, the second amendment is more important than the first amendment.  Why stop at gun ownership, perhaps every aspect of medical care should be legislated?  What right does my doctor have to pester me about whether I smoke or how much I drink or whether or not I'm getting enough calcium?  From the StarTribune:
The ruling by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta overturned a previous decision that had declared the law unconstitutional. An injunction blocking enforcement of the law is still in effect, however.
The 2011 law, which had become popularly known as "Docs vs. Glocks," was challenged by organizations representing 11,000 state health providers, including the Florida chapters of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians
Doctors who break the law could potentially be fined and lose their licenses.

The issue of boundaries in psychiatry is always a sticky one, and there are times when it seems prudent to bend some of the usual boundaries by a bit.  Still, I tell students, readers, anyone who asks me, that the two rules one should never violate: Don't sleep with or kill you patients.  Hmmm, this is a tragic story, but as the media is reporting it, a psychiatrist in a Philadelphia suburb pulled out his own gun and fired on a patient who had already shot at him and had killed his case manager.  Read the NY Times account Here.  The details are still unwinding.

And on to ducks:

Iraq veteran Darin Welker, pictured above, suffers from pain, depression, and post-traumatic stress, and he has found comfort from his 14 emotional support ducks.  Farm animals, however, are not legal in his Ohio town, and there is a hearing to force Welker to get rid of the ducks!  We at Shrink Rap say NO!  Let the vet keep his support ducks! So long as he does so in a way that does not disturb others or does not endanger the ducks, we're on his side.  And apparently the same town allows one therapy pot-belly pig per family, so why not some ducks?  Link to the article is Here and there is a video of Welker with his ducks.

Finally, over on Clinical Psychiatry News, I responded to a reader's comment that the term "shrink" is odd and offensive.  After eight plus years, I think we're moving on as the Shrink Rappers, though I am sorry it offends someone.  What do you think?  Read:  The Stigma of Being a Shrink.

I'm going to try allowing comments again. I miss everyone's input, but I will be moderating for now.