Can my doctor be my Facebook friend?

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release: Friday, 22 November 2013

If you can trust your doctor with your life, can you be their Facebook friend?

In today’s Scrubbing up column on the BBC Health website, MDDUS medical adviser Dr Naeem Nazem looks at the serious ethical challenges facing doctors and the implications for the patient relationship when engaging through social media.

MDDUS figures reveal that between 2010 and 2012 advisers received over four times as many calls from doctors seeking guidance on the use of sites such as Facebook and Twitter, with indications suggesting this number will continue to rise this year.

“Patients interacting with their doctors on social media may inadvertently create an uncomfortable and awkward situation,” says Dr Nazem.

“It also risks blurring the boundaries in the doctor-patient relationship which could impact on the quality of care they receive.

“Doctors must keep their relationship with patients professional, or they risk becoming too close which can cloud their judgement and affect their objectivity and clinical decision-making.”

Read the full article on the BBC website at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24850051

Ends

For further information contact Joanne Curran on 0845 270 2034, or email jcurran@mddus.com  

Note to editors

MDDUS (The Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland) is a medical and dental defence organisation providing access to professional indemnity and expert medico- and dento-legal advice for doctors, dentists and other healthcare professionals throughout the UK. For further information on MDDUS go to www.mddus.com.