8/20/2014

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Should your doctor spy on your tweets?

Should your doctor spy on your tweets?
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How much should your doctor know about you?

Now that we are tweeting and sharing the most intimate details of our lives, the question has been asked: Should doctors track their patients using social media? Art Kaplan with NBC News reports:

A friend recently brought to my attention a disturbing question from a psychiatrist working with a transplant team: Should she be checking the sobriety claims of liver transplant candidates by looking on their Twitter and other social media sites? That question merits discussion because it’s clear both doctors and patients are entering a new world of uncertain medical privacy due to Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other outlets.

In this case, the doctor was asked to offer an opinion about a young man’s eligibility for a liver transplant. The medical team would not take him if he was still drinking. The doctor knew the young man had a history of at least one binge-drinking episode more than a year ago that resulted in a car crash. Since then, both the would-be transplant candidate and his mother said he had been sober. 

The psychiatrist was ready to recommend admission to the liver transplant program when she received a photo by email of the young man in a bar. Someone on the transplant team had thought to check the guy’s Twitter account. There he was for all the world to see, surrounded by booze, hoisting a cold one in a picture he himself had posted.

Read more at NBCNews.com.

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