Hippocratic Oath for Medical & Health Webloggers (medbloggers)

As noted in my previous post I am now looking at the world of medical & health weblogs (Medblogs). One very important issue for medblogs resonates with a controversy in political blogging world: codes of ethics. Mary Schoen, one my students and I did a study of ethics codes in among political bloggers. In brief, we found very few had formal codes or even thought that they needed to have them.

For health care professional who blog, the ethical issues are much acute. So I am working on an adaptation of the Hippocratic Oath to apply to the medblogger.

Question: Should professionas who are MedBloggers take a Special Hippocratic Oath?

Here is my initial draft:

 

I swear that:

I will never reveal information about patients in my blog that allows readers to identify them in any way.

If I blog under a pseudonym, I will still inform readers of my correct credentials and degrees so that they can assess my expertise.

If I refer to controversial health care information, I will make sure to recognize opposing views and to provide my readers with adequate citations so that they can read more on the subject themselves.

I will not blog to sell directly my services, my practice or a product in which I have any financial interest.

I may state my opinions and ideas with passion and conviction, but I will not engage in personal attacks and the vilification of anyone in a way that would undermine the decorum and dignity of my profession.

Reference:

David D. Perlmutter & Mary Schoen. “If I Break A Rule, What Do I Do, Fire Myself? Ethics Codes of Independent Blogs.”Journal of Mass Media Ethics, 22(1) 2007: 37-48.

Originally posted July 30, 2008 at PolicyByBlog

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