Dr Marie Bismark
“Social media, law, medicine and what you must know.”
Dr Marie Bismark is dually-trained as a Doctor and lawyer.
Whilst social media has a lot of advantages, there are potential risks that all users should be aware of, especially within the medical field. It’s better to understand them so you can reduce your risk and avoid any negative issues.
AHPRA have guidelines regarding social media within the Australian medial industry. The legal premise in terms of how to conduct your activity in a medical setting has not changed, nor is anything new: it’s just that social media has provided another avenue for potential breaches can occur, and so, users must be aware of this.
Advertising, just like on any other medium, must comply with the usual regulations on a social media platform too. It:
(1) should not be false, misleading or deceptive
(2) create unrealistic expectations
(3) offer incentives or gifts without Terms and Conditions
(4) must not be discriminatory
A good, quick check is to ask yourself: “How would I feel about explaining this social media post to the Medical Board?”
Doctors and patients need to have relationship boundaries, and social media has provided another way for this to be potentially breached. The relationship divide must be honoured, even in a social media setting.
Posting and disseminating unauthorised photographs or content on a social media platform is a breach of the law. With social media encouraging the sharing of content, this legal standard must be managed closely.
Again, with social media encouraging the sharing of content and opinions, the burden is on the poster to prove that the information is the truth or a fair judgement based on solid facts. Discrediting an identifiable individual, via publication to a third-party (Ie: anything on social media) including re-sharing or retweeting can be a questionable practise and needs to be carefully managed.
The line between someone’s activities at work and their personal life is a very blurry one. It is very important that anything posted to social media is consistent, ethical and legal.
Being legally and socially aware arms an individual and/ore organisation to be responsible and enjoy the benefits of social media while reducing the risk associated.