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June 19, 2007

Medblogger code of ethics, anyone?

I was pointed to the Health Care Blogger Code of Ethics blog by my friend Dr. Ben (whose newish blog, by the way, is an excellent resource on pediatrics, infectious disease and quality improvement).  The undertaking seems to be getting up a good head of steam post-Flea, and under the tutelage of Revolution Health's Dr. Val.  Hmm, wait a minute, what's RevHealth's angle here . . . ?

Truth is, I'm not sure there's a need to reinvent the wheel.  HON's code (for example) includes the HCBE principles and is similarly free and self-enforcing (or, rather, community-enforced).  It also clearly requires an up-front assessment, which HCBE hasn't yet clearly committed to requiring.

Just another fascinating day out in the Wild West of medblogging.

-- David Harlow


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Thanks for the heads up. I am the "keeper of the code." The fact is that if someone has the HON code, they do not need to subscribe to this one. The HON code is a fairly rigorous process with fairly strict guidelines. It applies much more to those presenting scientific information, requiring the person to show references, etc. For the average blogger, this is really overkill. This code is meant for the rank and file medical blogger who just wants people to know the standards by which they blog. It may offer some protection to the reader in disclosing financial interests and showing a person's credentials. It may protect the blogger by giving something they can show a worried employer. It will not be policed strongly, but the hope is that the other bloggers will tell of any gross misconduct.

That's about it.


I second Rob's thoughts - he initiated the project and is the keeper of the code. I only provided some input along with many other bloggers. The code is unrelated to Revolution Health. I think it's a worthy cause - as a physician I'm happy to be involved.

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