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Ethical Aspects of Posting Medical Information with The Public on Social Media Platforms


Liban Dahir Barre, Ramez M. Alkoudmani

Abstract

The biggest challenge for healthcare workers posting on social media is to use the platforms responsibly and thoughtfully in both private and their work. Although ethical and legal guidelines always lag behind technological advances, we have these days evolving principles and procedures addressing confidentiality, privacy, professional reputation, and many others discussed in the article. Any inappropriate use of social and electronic media of unethical and unprofessional practice will result in possible disciplinary actions, e.g., firing from a job, suspending a license, charging fines, etc. Most of the social media infarctions arise from unintentional misuse. Healthcare workers should avoid taking photos, videos, or recognizable data of their patients using cell phones. By vigilantly following standardized guidelines, healthcare workers can responsibly use social media to enhance patient care coordination. Although there are burgeoning ethical and legal enforcements worldwide, Arab countries’ health authorities need to create awareness among their healthcare professionals to promote high-quality care. Moreover, Arab researchers are recommended to highlight the ethical loopholes in their countries to overcome clinical ethics limitations in terms of scope and volume.

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