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    Saturday, March 17, 2007

    Blogging Doctors - Nyet: Are doctors who blog unethical? This report seems to imply that we are:

    Critics say the blogs cross into an ethical gray area and threaten patient privacy while posing liability risks for health workers and their employers.

    ....The anonymity provided by blogs has proved to be a powerful lure for doctors and other medical professionals, who, sworn to strict rules of confidentiality regarding patients, have few outlets to speak their minds.

    ..."I don't see a lot of blatant HIPAA violations," Bucholz said, referring to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, which established national standards to protect personal health information. "They're using first names ... but from my perspective, if someone were to identify themselves in this blog, he is looking at very serious charges, not the least of which is losing their license."

    Medical blogging is so new that medical boards, schools and professionals disagree on what is acceptable.


    Let's hope they don't ban blogging. Although some of the example posts are rather tasteless, most medical blogs aren't so much "doctor diaries" as doctor discussions. This isn't anything new. Doctors write in newspapers and magazines about their cases and there are no shortage of TV doctors. And we don't really need a new set of rules to help us deal with the ethics of this "so new" media. Just use the elevator rule. If you wouldn't say something in an elevator full of people, don't say it on your blog.
     

    posted by sydney on 3/17/2007 08:10:00 PM 2 comments

    2 Comments:

    As a physician blogger with an ethics blog, my concern is in the opposite direction: a visitor writing defamatory statements about a physician or other healthcare workers with specific identification. It's not a medical HIPAA issue--it is civil libel. All us bloggers must be on guard in whatever direction. ..Maurice.

    By Blogger Maurice Bernstein, M.D., at 12:07 AM  

    They* are coming for us next...
    reminds me of the Dire Straits song...

    Benedict

    * Lawyers, accountants and politicians

    By Blogger Benedict 16th, at 6:49 AM  

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