Physicians urged to consider gun-related violence in elderly

July 9, 2013
Physicians urged to consider gun-related violence in elderly
Physicians must consider their role in restricting gun-related violence among the elderly and those with mental illness, according to two ideas and opinions pieces published in the July 9 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

(HealthDay)—Physicians must consider their role in restricting gun-related violence among the elderly and those with mental illness, according to two ideas and opinions pieces published in the July 9 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Marshall B. Kapp, J.D., M.P.H., from Florida State University in Tallahassee, discusses the dangers posed to elderly people from the presence of firearms in a home. Many elderly people, including those with , have access to firearms, and the elderly are more likely to suffer self-inflicted . A public health approach to preventing gun violence, which includes physician engagement as a central component, is necessary. Physicians have a legal right to ask about guns, and should examine the risk of gun-related injury based on the patient's physical and mental state. Action in the form of anticipatory intervention should be encouraged when necessary.

Carl E. Fisher, M.D., and Jeffrey A. Lieberman, M.D., from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, discuss mental illness and gun violence. They note that in the popular press and academic literature people with mental disorders have often been portrayed as a greater part of the problem of gun-related violence than they actually are. Restricting gun access should be implemented appropriately among the subset of people with mental illness who exhibit risk factors for dangerous behavior.

"We urge physicians to thoughtfully consider the facts when discussing the role of mental illness in gun violence, and beyond the issue of , to advocate for as a meaningful goal in itself, putting compassion before fear," Fisher and Lieberman write.

Explore further: AAFP to Obama: Family docs key in violence prevention

More information: Full Text - Kapp
Full Text - Fisher and Lieberman

Related Stories

AAFP to Obama: Family docs key in violence prevention

January 25, 2013

(HealthDay)—Family physicians can play a role in addressing and preventing violence in the community, according to a Jan. 17 letter to President Obama from the American Association of Family Physicians (AAFP).

Recommended for you

Is neuroticism fueled by overthinking?

August 27, 2015

Isaac Newton was a classic neurotic. He was a brooder and a worrier, prone to dwelling on the scientific problems before him as well as his childhood sins. But Newton also had creative breakthroughs—thoughts on physics ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.