EndNotes

FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013, 10:30 A.M.

Should doctors ask patients about their guns?

Several rifles were found in a storage unit off the Gonzaga University campus. Courtesy of Brian Schaeffer, Spokane Fire Department (Courtesy of Brian Schaeffer, Spokane Fire Department / The Spokesman-Review)
Several rifles were found in a storage unit off the Gonzaga University campus. Courtesy of Brian Schaeffer, Spokane Fire Department (Courtesy of Brian Schaeffer, Spokane Fire Department / The Spokesman-Review)

Kaiser Health News has a fascinating story on its website about a Denver-area doctor, Frank Dumont, who regrets not asking his 70-something depressed patient if he had guns in the house.

From the article:

Dumont's patient shot himself in the head with a rifle. Dumont was stunned, and guilt-ridden. He says he always asks his depressed patients about suicide, and whether they've thought about how they'd do it. But he regrets not asking this patient specifically whether he had any guns in the house...Suicide prevention researcher Dr. Matthew Miller at the Harvard School of Public Health wants to make that question routine when doctors talk with patients.

In 2010, about 20,000 men and women killed themselves with guns. NPR had a fascinating story this week on the fact that Wyoming has the highest suicide rate in the country and two-thirds of the suicide are done with firearms. See story.

Do you think these doctor-patient talks would help cut down on suicide by gun?

(S-R archive photo)




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