The American Medical Association and nine other medical specialty societies have filed a friend-of-the-court brief opposing a Florida statute that prohibits physicians from asking patients and families about guns in their homes and from noting a patient's gun ownership in his or her medical record.
"Not only do physicians lose the right to express themselves freely, but their patients are deprived of the full range of medical care and professionalism that they could expect from their physicians," the brief stated.
In July, a U.S. District judge in Miami blocked enforcement of the law. The state of Florida appealed this decision. The brief filed by the medical societies is in opposition to Florida's appeal.
"Lawmakers cannot insert the state into the patient-physician relationship by dictating, prohibiting or threatening the open communication between patient and physician," Dr. Jeremy Lazarus, president of the AMA, said in a news release. "The AMA will vigorously defend the patient-physician relationship and the free speech necessary for the practice of medicine."