Late Winter Update- Beaumont and ERPO

Visiting Beaumont

James Peggs and I traveled to Oakland University/William Beaumont Hospital and School of Medicine on February 12 continuing to reach out to our colleagues around the state with our grand rounds “Gun Violence and Firearm Safety- the Physician’s Role”. We were hosted by Brian Berman, MD, Chief of Pediatrics. Pediatricians were joined by psychiatrists that morning. We had a lively discussion of our public health crisis including the recent hashtag #ThisIsOurLane. Many angry doctors responded to the NRA’s call to stay “in our lane” and remain silent about gun deaths. They shot photos of bloody surgical gowns and operating room floors.  And trauma surgeon Stephanie Bonne photographed her chair where she sits to tell parents that their child didn’t survive surgery. Physician passions are high. We want to see the death toll come down. Instead it climbs and we are frustrated.

Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO).

One Beaumont psychiatrist worried about the many unstable patients she sees who are at risk of harming themselves or others with a gun. She wondered if we had an answer.  Now our only response is to ask the family to cautiously remove the gun. An ERPO allows family member or the police could petition the court for a temporary removal of guns from a person felt to be dangerous to self or others. Michigan democrats in the house have reintroduced this bill that studies show would save lives. Recently the senate also introduced SB 0157 with 11 cosponsors. This year with more effort from doctor groups perhaps we can pass this bill. Can you find a Republican legislator who will join the fight for this lifesaving bill? Let’s push for Michigan to join the 5 or more states who have an answer to this gun in the “wrong hands” problem.

20 physicians joined PPGV that morning. Dr. Berman wrote a letter of “appreciation for the excellent Grand Rounds presentation.” Visiting Beaumont was a pleasure! And this year may bring some positive change in Michigan law. Together we can!