A magazine for friends of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Cross Purposes


Doctor-affiliated PACs fund more political candidates who oppose firearm safety policies, study finds.

Political action committees (PACs) affiliated with physician organizations contribute more money to political candidates who oppose evidence-based policies to reduce firearm-related injuries than to those who support such policies, a new study found. 

This pattern of giving is inconsistent with advocacy efforts by many individual physicians and organizations in support of the policies, the researchers said. 

Jeremiah Schuur, MD

“Doctors can—and should—lead efforts to prevent firearm violence,” says study co-author Jeremiah Schuur RES’05, MD, MHS, the chair of emergency medicine. “Yet we found that the PACs affiliated with the doctors who provide frontline care for victims of gun violence contribute to candidates who are blocking evidence-based firearm safety policies. If the organized political giving of these organizations doesn’t match their stated public health goals, they undermine the moral authority and scientific credibility they draw upon when advocating for policy change.”

Indirectly, such contributions hinder the health and safety of patients, Schuur adds. 

The findings were published on Feb. 22 in the journal JAMA Network Open.

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