Do you think that doctors should monitor the Twitter accounts of their patients? On Oct. 27, a discussion about whether or not doctors should keep tabs on their patients using social media was ignited. Evidently it's legal for doctors to check out things you share as long as you're doing so on a public forum -- and to make comments on such things if they want.
This all started when a patient in need of a liver transplant was caught drinking thanks to his Twitter account. The patient could only get approved for the transplant if he could prove that he was sober. His family spoke up on his behalf and he swore he hadn't been drinking despite his binge drinking history. The proceedings came to a halt when someone passed along a photo of him having a drink that he posted on Twitter the night before. Oops.
Previously, people had been fired from their jobs -- or not hired to new jobs -- because of the things posted on their public social media accounts. This has spiraled into something even more complicated that people would never even dream about 20 years ago. So, do you think that it's cool for doctors to check up on their patients on social media sites? Even though Facebook and Twitter are considered public forums, aren't the things you write "private" in many ways?
© Effie Orfanides 2013