In June 2011, Florida House Bill 155 (HB155)1 became law, marking an unprecedented intrusion into the patient-physician relationship. The law states that licensed Florida health care practitioners and health care facilities “should refrain from making a written inquiry or asking questions concerning the ownership of a firearm or ammunition by the patient or by a family member of the patient, or the presence of a firearm in a private home or other domicile of the patient or a family member of the patient.” Additionally, practitioners and facilities are instructed against recording such information (if disclosed) in the medical record. Exceptions accompany both prohibitions. If a clinician “in good faith believes” that the information is “relevant to the patient's medical care or safety, or the safety of others” she or he may inquire; entry into the medical record is only prohibited if the clinician “knows” it is “not relevant.”
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