Doctors Told Not To Use Social Networks, As It Could Create Ethical Problems

from the oh-really? dept

Just as we were seeing doctors who were embracing social media to do more for patients, it appears that some are trying to clamp down. As in the legal profession, it appears some old-timers are over-reacting to things like Facebook. mhh5 points us to the news that an article in the Journal of Medical Ethics is suggesting doctors avoid social networks altogether:
"I would discourage doctors from participating in any form of social networking, but if they do, I would encourage them to privatize their information."
The other big concern is that doctors are told not to look up info on patients on social networking sites or to friend patients. While there are obvious pitfalls there, my guess is that the younger generation of doctors will figure out a more balanced means of still using social networking sites without causing serious ethical problems.

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  1. identicon
    Michial Thompson, 22 Mar 2010 @ 2:00pm

    Friending patients

    The biggest reason for friending a patient being a bad idea would fall under HIPPA more than anything.

    Take a Doctor specializing in STDs or a Marriage Counselor, go through someone's friends and see these people and happen to know that it's not likely they are actual friends and you can deduce that they are being treated.

    The Doctor has a responsibility to keep his information confidential. And even if you invited the doctor, or even approved his invite the Lawyers could have a field day with it and waste a lot of time and money over it.

    As for fielding "crowd sourcing" medical diagnosis, leave that for hollywood and House. Keep the Medical diagnosis off the social netowrking sites. If I EVER found my doctor going to the internet to crowd source my diagnosis I'd first find a new doctor, and second bring serious issues of negligence and malpractice charges against them.

    And trust me I have a cronic disease that I would give anything for the medical community to find a cure for, but I don't want some half-wit 5th grader pretending to be an adult feeding my doctor something about a lollypop solving my issues.

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