BY Lisa Rapaport
Originally published August 5, 2016
As more and more sick patients are going online and using social media to search for answers about their health, it’s raising a lot of thorny ethical questions for doctors.
“The internet and ready access to vast amounts of information are now permanent aspects of how we live our lives, including how we think about and deal with our health problems,” Dr. Chris Feudtner, director of medical ethics at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, said by email.
Social media in particular can affect how patients interact with doctors and what type of care they expect, Feudtner and colleagues write in an article about ethics in the journal Pediatrics.
“Clinicians should ask about what patients and families have read on the Internet, and then work through that information thoughtfully, as sometimes Internet information is not helpful and sometimes it is helpful,” Feudtner said. “Doing this takes time and effort, yet trust is built with time and effort.”
The article is here.