Policies Governing Medical Related Content
We want doctors to feel comfortable providing answers to questions about medicine and medical problems. His Little Kingdom’s policy is that in answering medical questions, doctors should not give a reader the impression that they are acting as her doctor, thus possibly creating a professional relationship (i.e., doctor-patient) and subjecting the doctor to “duties of reasonable care.”
Questions related to medicine
- It’s OK for a question to describe a general situation, illustration, illness, or symptoms, but the question should withhold enough facts so that it’s clear that it’s not describing a specific patient.
- Medicine-related questions on His Little Kingdom are not allowed to provide facts that give the impression of being patient-specific. Questions that are patient-specific should be edited to become questions about general medical problems or deleted.
Answers related to medicine
- Medicine-related answers can provide general guidance, context, and illustration. But specific or diagnostic answers are not allowed. Answers should not provide specific treatment recommendations or give the impression that they are a substitute for a real-life consultation with a doctor.
- Doctors should not solicit patients for treatment. For example, doctors should not volunteer to schedule patient appointments on the site; doing so could violate medical board rules regarding advertising.
- In answering medicine-related questions, doctors should be careful not to discuss privileged or confidential details of past or current patients! Doctors should also be careful not to accidentally reveal confidential information in indirect ways – for example, by discussing hypothetical illustrations that could be traced back to specific patients.
- Needless to say, doctors should not suggest or prescribe medication to questioners based on interactions over His Little Kingdom. Such a practice would likely violate telemedicine rules for many state medical boards.
Adding disclaimers to answers
- Doctors or medical students who answer medical or medically-related questions on His Little Kingdom should identify themselves as licensed physicians or medical students and add a disclaimer to the end of their medical answers.