by Mike Masnick
Thu, May 6th 2010 1:55am
We recently had a story about an article in the Journal of Medical Ethics that recommended doctors avoid using social networks entirely, because of potential ethical issues related to patient information. That seems a bit extreme. It seems like there would be ways to use social networks without compromising your ethics. However, a recent article in the LA Times takes this discussion a step further. Beyond discussing social networking usage and "friending" between doctors and patients, it wonders if it's okay for doctors to do internet searches on their patients to find out more info about them (or even see if they're lying about stuff). Of course, this seems like a bit of a flip side to the typical complaint from some doctors who don't like that patients are searching for information online themselves, though usually more for self-diagnosis. The article suggests that it really depends on the doctor, the patient and the situation, but it seems that many doctors are afraid to search for info about their patients.
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