A Health Affairs blog post by two IHPI members and their colleagues calls for more research and advocacy about firearm injuries and deaths by those in the health professions.
A new post on the blog of the journal Health Affairs co-authored by IHPI members Mahshid Abir, M.D. and Brahmajee Nallamothu, M.D., M.P.H., calls for health professionals to get involved in improving the quantity and quality of research on firearm-related deaths and injuries, and to share their experiences treating victims of gun violence.
The post, written swiftly after the social media furor marked by the #ThisisOurLane hashtag, documents the deaths and injuries related to mass shooting incidents in the United States thus far in 2018.
An excerpt from the piece's recommendations:
Providers have an obligation to their patients and the communities they serve to proactively work toward injury and death prevention from any cause. No doubt, many physicians and healthcare providers are gun owners themselves. In fact, it’s possible for anyone – though, especially for healthcare providers with unique experience with the realities of gun violence – to believe in both the second amendment’s right to bear arms and the importance of gun control and research into the impact and potential prevention of gun violence.
To protect our communities, we believe that prehospital providers, physicians, nurses, social workers, health educators and researchers have a professional, moral and ethical duty to take the following actions:
First, we must widely share our professional experiences to bring to life the horrors of gun violence for average Americans and law makers.
Second, insist upon the use of the current evidence base around gun safety and violence prevention to immediately inform strategies to reduce fire-arm related mass casualty incidents.
Third, seek funds for research from private industry, foundations, and through philanthropy to expand and improve the evidence base for gun safety and injury prevention.
Fourth, lobby for increased federal funding for fire-arm related research through health professional organizations such as the American Medical Association (AMA), American Nurses Association (ANA), American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and advocacy groups.
Finally, we must become advocates for gun safety and injury prevention in our daily practices by starting dialogues with colleagues and patients.