Why Health Professionals Should Speak Out Against False Beliefs on the Internet.

23 November, 2019

Citation, abstract and a comment from me below.

CITATION: Why Health Professionals Should Speak Out Against False Beliefs on the Internet.

Wu JT(1), McCormick JB(2).

AMA J Ethics. 2018 Nov 1;20(11):E1052-1058. doi: 10.1001/amajethics.2018.1052.


Broad dissemination and consumption of false or misleading health information, amplified by the internet, poses risks to public health and problems for both the

health care enterprise and the government. In this article, we review government power for, and constitutional limits on, regulating health-related speech,

particularly on the internet. We suggest that government regulation can only partially address false or misleading health information dissemination. Drawing on the American Medical Association's Code of Medical Ethics, we argue that health care professionals have responsibilities to convey truthful information to patients, peers, and communities. Finally, we suggest that all health care professionals have essential roles in helping patients and fellow citizens obtain reliable, evidence-based health information.

COMMENT: As HIFA has demonstrated with the New York Law School (2012), governments also have an obligation under interenational human rights law to protect the public from health misinformation. Few governments recognise this or take it seriously.

Best wishes, Neil

Let's build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare information - Join HIFA: www.hifa.org

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org