British doctors warned against social media

Source/Credit: The Times of Malta: Monday, July 18, 2011

British doctors have been warned not to make friends with their patients on social networking sites.

The British Medical Association issued advice urging medics and students not to blur the boundaries with people they are treating or have treated in the past, for example by accepting a Facebook friendship request.

It warned that doctors and medical students who use sites such as Facebook and Twitter carelessly could be “risking their privacy, damaging their professionalism and risking the doctor-patient relationship”.

The guidance says: “Given the greater accessibility of personal information, entering into informal relationships with patients on sites like Facebook can increase the likelihood of inappropriate boundary transgressions, particularly where previously there existed only a professional relationship between a doctor and patient.

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Categories: Health, UK

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