Always a different story when the shoe is on the other foot:
“Why have Queensland’s top medical bodies come out against proposed amendments to the state’s mandatory reporting laws?
The answer is simple. As they stand, the laws make it harder for doctors with mental health and other issues to seek the help they need, due to fear their treating doctor will have to report them as a risk to patients. That will likely lead to doctors being unable to get the help they need – which could have terrible consequences.
The proposed amendments to the law couldn’t come at a worse time, with mental distress and attempted suicides among doctors at the highest rates of all the professions.
Doctors work in a high-pressure environment, with a culture of feeling like we should all be perfect. That means that we often don’t seek help when we should. We have lost too many of our colleagues to mental illness in recent years. We as doctors need to make a stand to ensure we do not lose anyone else unnecessarily.
Putting barriers between life-giving help and doctors in need is exactly the wrong approach.
That’s why Queensland’s peak medical professional groups, including the RACGP, Australian Medical Association (AMA), Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP), have united to condemn the law as it stands.
Professor Brett Emmerson, the Queensland Branch Chair of RANZCP, has said many doctors know a colleague who has had mental health problems and has been afraid to seek help.
‘We must make it easier and more acceptable for health professionals to see a GP or psychiatrist and get help for their own condition, without fear of reprisal, as doctors in Western Australia [WA] can,’ he said. ‘We already know that if treating clinicians have a reasonable expectation that harm is being done to patients, they will report. But the RACGP’s concern with this legislation is that it puts too much pressure on treating clinicians to decide what issues are significant.’
If the law passes, treating clinicians may be forced to report things that perhaps do not need to be reported, and that will discourage medical practitioners from seeking vital help.Discouraging doctors from seeking help is a bad outcome – not only for the doctor, but also for their patients.
Doctors are human beings and have a right and expectation to receive treatment like any other profession, without fear of prejudice.’
Doctors are human beings but gun owners are not apparently. This is what the Australian Medical Association’s position is on firearms and background checks:
(e) background checks similar to those adopted in other countries, which consider the applicant’s criminal, mental health, addiction and domestic violence records, whether the applicant has been treated for a mental illness, brain injury, in a hospital, psychiatric clinic or was confined in association with violence or threatened or attempted violence on the part of the person against any person; or has a history of behaviour that includes violence or threatened violence to themselves of others;
Complete and utter hypocrites – no other way to describe it.
The AMA even admitted the futility of medical checks in the wake of the John Edwards incident:
The god-like status doctors are given by some members of the Australian community is patently absurd. It’s just another profession. A profession that has it’s own problems with malpractice, impostors, sex offenders and the rest.
That being said, there are plenty of doctors and medical professionals who shoot and hunt and disagree with the anti-firearm position of the AMA and other organisations – more power to them.
However, the message is clear: don’t impose your own arbitrary standards on a section of the community you do not approve of but then whip out the victim card when the same standards are applied to you.
Even more reason to get a second or third opinion.