OAK LAWN - Kids are now being asked by doctors about whether their parents keep guns in their homes. Whatever the kids answer goes i nto their medical records and will likely be taken into consideration with future treatments. This raises serious questions about patient privacy. What's often kept from parents will be accessible to medical strangers, and now with centralized medical records, possibly accessible to government agencies. At least that's the concern of one Chicago area mom.
Chicago Tribune's John Kass tells what an Oak Lawn mom reported happening when her son was admitted to Hope Children's Hospital with infected tonsils recently. When asking her son about his medical history, hospital staff asked the mom to step out of the room, and she complied.
Later that day, Sam told her what the doctors had asked him.
"By the way, Mom," she recalled him saying, "when you were out of the room they asked me if we had any guns in the house."
"Yes, it was none of their business," she said. "Where do they get off? I was furious.
"By the way, he answered 'no.' We don't have guns. But that's not the point. The point is that they use bureaucratic leverage to break down our privacy. And the last time I checked, I was an American."
Questions about guns is troubling enough, for sure, but there's also a big chance that the docs asked about her son's sexual activity, his drug and alcohol use and his family situation, too. And sure enough, the boy admits they asked him if he was bullied at school.
The family has no guns in the house, but the mom raises a good question, "If I get a gun, should I train my kids to lie to doctors and the government?"