Do Reminder Services Risk Legal Liabilities?

from the don't-forget-to-call-the-lawyer dept

There are tons of the “reminder” services online that will email or text message you a reminder concerning whatever you want. People use them to remember birthdays or lunch appointments, or even just a simple shopping list. Some, which allow others to set reminders for you, have faced some questions about spamming. However, the most interesting part of this article about a bunch of these services is the claim that people are increasingly using these services for medical reasons — reminding them to take their medication or about doctor’s appointments. That obviously could be very useful for many people. However, none of these systems is guaranteed to remain standing (in fact, the article notes one just shut down), so you have to wonder what the legal liability is on these services. If the service breaks down, and someone doesn’t take their medication because of it, are the companies involved asking for lawsuits?

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Comments on “Do Reminder Services Risk Legal Liabilities?”

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Dan says:

Re: Sad state....

When you are suffering from a form of dementia, or if you cannot read in the language your pharmacy has printed your directions, of if you’re taking a very complex set of pills from multiple sources, or if you’re on an early form of the AIDS cocktail, the service is helpful. If you’re a judgemental jerk who is in perfect control of the world around them, it’s probably not for you.

Kelly says:

Medical reminders & liability?

I would presume that reminders services have a clause in their TOS stating that they may end this service at their discretion…etc. etc.

I agree with arantius to an extent regarding the lack of personal responsibility in today’s society. Certainly society has become sickeningly litigious.

That being said, there is nothing irresponsible about using such services. Sure, if all you have is a pill in the morning or a temporary TBSP of cough syrup 4Xday, it seens like overkill. These are not the typical user that signs up for a medicine reminder. Some people take many medications each of which must be taken at certain times with regard to other medications and meals. This can become daunting. Other times, the very problems you are treating can contribute forgetfulness and confusion. Thus, I have always be taught that part of being responsible for oneself is to know your weaknesses and find ways to overcome them. That being said; someone who is relying ONLY on such a service is risking trouble. Websites have been taken down, electricity goes out; then what do you do.
These services can be seen as one tool that can be used to help remember various things.
Again, I would hope that the companies offering services have included a clause covering themselves and that people using the service are not using it as the only tool to help remember things.

Doesn't Matter says:

Re: Medical reminders & liability?

It’s a free country and if people want to rely on these kinds of services then i don’t think that should be such a problem its just an additional help for the individuals that busy lives or just want to take advantage. Most of all companies make these services available to make money and it has been very successful.

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