Freedom of expression in cyberspace to be a threat to the professionalism of doctors in America. Through social networks like Twitter, some doctors in the country in violation of professional ethics including privacy leak and harassing patients.
In a study at George Washington University, the experts revealed that 4 percent of doctors in America ever twitter things that are not professional. This figure is derived from observations of 5156 messages on Twitter, written by 260 physicians, each with more than 500 followers.
Ethics violations that occurred in Twitter is dominated by the abuse of patients, who number about 3 percent. This type of harassment that includes mention of obscene terms, leakage patient privacy and the statements that are discriminatory.
In addition to harassment, there’s more 1 percent of professional ethics violations by American doctors on Twitter so that in total there are 4 percent of physicians who twitter with unprofessional. This latter category more associated with misleading information.
Some doctors in this category twitter things that are essentially promoting a health product, which is certainly not justified if performed by a physician. Worse, the claims about the product in these messages on Twitter sometimes excessive and inconsistent with actual indication.
“The results of this study can be considered to determine whether or not the supervision of a doctor who is active in social networking,” said Prof. Dr. Katherine Chretien, who led the study.
Prof. Chretien admitted, most of the messages or health information presented by doctors on Twitter is very beneficial for patients. But if there are doctors on Twitter who provide misleading information then it is very unprofessional and should be controlled.
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