by Gary Spina
Senate confirmation is still pending for Obama’s nomination of Dr. Vivek Murthy for Surgeon General. It would seem that at age 36 Murthy is too young to have had time to build a distinguished medical career. He has however, quite a resume of political activism, especially in his zealous opposition to Second Amendment gun rights, which he labels a “public health” issue.
Dr. Vivek Murthy
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Murthy founded a group called “Doctors for Obama” which worked for Obama’s election victory. After Obama was elected Murthy’s group changed its name to “Doctors for America” and threw their efforts behind the passage of the Affordable Care Act – Obamacare.
In 2012, Murthy tweeted: “Tired of politicians playing politics [with] guns, putting lives at risk [because] they’re scared of NRA. Guns are a health care issue.” Murthy advocates rationing guns and limiting how much ammunition a person can purchase, mandatory licensing and training, mandatory waiting periods for purchasing firearms – and whatever barriers he can put between citizens and their right to keep and bear arms.
The National Rifle Association is concerned that Murthy will use his position as surgeon general as a “bully pulpit” to control the narrative and treat gun-control as a public health issue, advocating to undermine our Second Amendment rights.
On April 16, Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA went on Megyn Kelly’s Fox News program to present his case against Murthy and the Obamacare provisions that would require doctors to discuss the dangers of gun ownership with their patients. Cox made the case that a patient’s time with his doctor is limited and should be confined to medical issues, not political ideology.
Cox argued that if you get to see your doctor for ten minutes, you don’t need an eight minute lecture from him on gun safety.
I listened to Cox make his case, expecting him to compare the number of deaths each year from gun accidents with the number of deaths each year from medical accidents and physician misdiagnosis. Cox was silent of the statistics, but here’s how the numbers read:
Accidental Deaths from guns: In 2010, there were 606 accidental deaths from firearms. In 2013 there were 800 accidental deaths from firearms.
(Just for good measure, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention cites the total deaths from guns – from lawful self-defense and law enforcement to gang violence to drug and street crime to suicide, etc. — as 31,672 deaths in 2013.)
Accidental Deaths from medical mistakes: In 2013, there 210,000 to 440,000 accidental patients deaths caused by the mistakes of doctors and hospitals.
Marshall Allen writing in ProPublica, September 19, 2013, reports:
In 1999, the Institute of Medicine published the famous “To Err Is Human” report, which dropped a bombshell on the medical community by reporting that up to 98,000 people a year die because of mistakes in hospitals. The number was initially disputed, but is now widely accepted by doctors and hospital officials — and quoted ubiquitously in the media.
In 2010, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services said that bad hospital care contributed to the deaths of 180,000 patients in Medicare alone in a given year.
Now comes a study in the current issue of the Journal of Patient Safety that says the numbers may be much higher — between 210,000 and 440,000 patients each year who go to the hospital for care suffer some type of preventable harm that contributes to their death, the study says.
That would make medical errors the third-leading cause of death in America, behind heart disease, which is the first, and cancer, which is second.
I say, if Obama and Dr. Murthy want to pick a fight over guns in America – let’s have at it. Let’s get their lies and distortions out in the open and stop allowing them to promulgate their leftist agenda. Their “facts” on guns do not stand up to scrutiny and intellectual honesty. But Obama has never been overly concerned about honesty and truth – for honesty and truth always seem to expose him for the manipulative, tyrannical ideologue he is.
If a lecture from your doctor on gun safety is mandatory under Obamacare – please feel free to interrupt and ask your doctor how specifically he is addressing the massive problem of physician and hospital mistakes. Go on – don’t be shy. Lecture your doctor about proper medical protocol – about the alarming incidents of patient deaths caused by medical misfeasance, nonfeasance, and malfeasance. Ask him why it’s safer to carry a gun than it is to see a doctor. Better still, why doesn’t somebody ask Obama and Murthy that question?
Why the NRA opposes Dr. Vivek Murthy:
via Fox News