And stay away from those monkey bars

The definition of “medical history” seems to be expanding of late, as Jennifer found out at the pediatrician’s office:

I filled out all the normal, pertinent details. Family history, allergies, etc. Then I get to a section about exposure risks. Alright, I get the whole lead paint concern. And knowing if there are pets can help diagnose allergy problems. Then a question about whether or not I’m concerned about violence in the home. Wha?

Wonder what would happen if you tacked on a footnote: “No, I am not concerned; in fact, I delight in the prospect.”

It gets weirder after that:

[T]here is a section there where they ask “Are there guns in the home?” and gives a “No” or “Yes” check box.

Understand that nowhere on the form does it indicate that you can decline to answer. I declined to answer on the basis of context. Clearly, every box checked “yes” is supposed to raise some kind of red flag. I also declined to fill in whether or not I am concerned about his Tobacco use, Sexual activity, or Aggressive behavior (I’m not), nor did I share his computer hours, video game hours, or TV hours. Honestly, I don’t think any of that is the pediatrician’s business. I didn’t make an issue out of it. I just didn’t fill it out. Personally, I’d like to know what they are doing with that kind of data before I provide it.

Off the top of my head, I’d guess that all this becomes a batch of data points to be used to justify the adoption of even more intrusive questions in years to come, as American medicine mutates into a horrendous hybrid of the Excruciatingly Corporate and the Ruthlessly Political.


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  1. Brian J. »

    13 August 2011 · 8:06 pm

    Also, in addition to each unanswered question defaulting to “yes,” I believe DHS considers people who do not answer pediatrician interrogations to be terrorists.

  2. unimpressed »

    13 August 2011 · 9:06 pm

    Kids are considered to be terrorists-in-training, maybe?

  3. Joseph Hertzlinger »

    14 August 2011 · 2:13 am

    If we have nationalized health care, we might see doctors being ordered to report on patients owning guns. Enforcing such a law will be easier if there are already government officials used to meddling with doctor’s advice.

  4. tioedong »

    14 August 2011 · 4:39 am

    You mean there are folks in Oklahoma who don’t have a gun in the home? Who wudda thought? Actually, it’s the left wing Pediatrician organizations behind the questioning…

    background HERE:

  5. McGehee »

    14 August 2011 · 7:27 am

    The AMA, I believe, wanted doctors to ask these questions long ago — and Gennie of posted a rant about similar questions a few years back that I found quite memorable. I linked it here but the link is dead and there’s no search box on her site.

  6. Nicole »

    14 August 2011 · 12:49 pm

    Yeah, I read awhile back about the trend for doctors to ask about guns in the home. Just another step in getting the populace desensitized even more to intrusive questions by couching them under the guise of trying to help.

  7. Ric Locke »

    14 August 2011 · 1:33 pm

    For about $20 you can get a self-inking rubber stamp gadget that retracts into its case, so you can carry it in your pocket and use it as appropriate. Check with an office supply store.

    I suggest none of your fucking business, you voyeuristic asshole. This may result in the physician not wanting your business, but consider it a screen — you don’t want his or her intrusions either.


  8. Tatyana »

    14 August 2011 · 3:42 pm

    And that’s another argument for an out-of-pocket paying for visits to the doctor: they can not supply the reason for this impertinence as something required by an insurance Co.
    When I went for my [cash-paid] LASIC operation, I refused to give my #SS number and my exact age to the receptionist. She was shocked, at first, but then (after the Almighty Doctor approved), came to my POV.

  9. diamond dave »

    14 August 2011 · 9:53 pm

    Second my vote for a “none of your fucking business” option.

  10. Musings from Brian J. Noggle » Blog Archive » The Proper Response To Pediatrician Interrogation »

    16 August 2011 · 9:22 am

    [...] Dustbury and Jennifer muse on the Gun question that appears on pediatrician forms. You know the one: Are there guns in the home? [...]

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