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When are a doctor’s medical views merely personal?
A recent decision from the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee of the CPSO, Ontario (College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario) v Gill, found that a doctor should be cautioned for using her personal Twitter account to post about her views on current health measures in relation to the COVID-19 virus. The Committee did not accept that the tweets were “taken out of context”, nor that the account was personal and not affiliated with the physician’s practice. Rather, the Committee found that her Twitter biography clearly identified her as a doctor and as a leader of a physician group. The tweets were also publicly accessible, and the Committee found that being a doctor likely gave her views on these matters more weight and that the general public would have difficulty evaluating the medical and scientific veracity of her tweets.
Our Two Cents for Free
Be aware of social media and its implications. Due to its extensive reach, it impacts individuals but also has consequences for professions and professionals more broadly.
Have you encountered a professional saying or behaving in a way that gave you pause? What was it that made you pause? What was your reaction? Did this experience change your approach or make you think differently?
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