Doctors come together to address gun violence as public health issue

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Doctors come together to address gun violence as public health issue

June 20, 2018

Coalition of public health agencies, including UW Medicine's Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center, issue statement to the media.

Leaders of 10 public health agencies and professional group announced plans to do more to prevent gun-related injuries and deaths, including asking patients whether they own guns and screening them for risk of using a gun in suicide.

"As healthcare providers, we recognize firearm-related injury and death as a public health epidemic," they said. 

Their statement was released at a press conference covered by KNKX and KIRO radio. 

In Washington, 682 people died of gunshot wounds in 2016. Suicides accounted for three-quarters of all gun deaths in the state

The coalition called for more local and statewide research that could help identify those at risk of gun violence and evaluate the effectiveness of policies designed to prevent it. And the coalition recommended that medical professionals respect the beliefs of lawful gun owners.

 

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