Healthcare Bloggers need a break! That’s what I thought when I came across an article at www.getbetterhealth.com about 2 medical blogs shutting down. As I delved deeper into discussions relating to the controversy, it dawned on me that a Code of Ethics for Healthcare Bloggers is a mandate and not a jocular suggestion. It could land medical bloggers in deep soup if propriety and ethics is ignored. The 2 instances cited are just a dime and many more might be in the line of fire. I came across a blog dedicated to the cause – http://medbloggercode.com. This blog encourages health bloggers to follow a code of conduct and any blogs adhering to the code can apply for membership to the blog and community. Here are the 2 goals of the code:
KevinMD gives in elaborate detail the happenings that landed the 2 bloggers in a soup. There are various opinions on the discussion in a follow-up post . The final answer lies in discerning what is private and what is public domain. Sensitive info about the patient is to be held diligently in high regard. Invasion of privacy other than for direct patient care in the medical setting is a crime by itself and should be shunned by all. The legal eagle has become a complex jumbo. A nexus between legal enforcers and any distraught patient is dynamite. Avoid it at all costs!
In developing countries like India, the scenario is slightly different – but things are catching on at a fast pace. We, healthcare bloggers must be on our toes trying to adhere to certain ethical principles. “The Code” at MedBloggerCode is a definitive starting point.
Will be adding some interesting stuff in this box. So check it out!