Some doctors use social media to discuss health topics, while other doctors use their Facebook or twitters as a tool to become more available to their patients. Doctors who accept friend requests from patients may face concerns such as protecting patient privacy and maintaining appropriate boundaries between professional and social relationships. At first glance, one may believe that there is no harm in doctors and patients being Facebook friends, however, as the article notes, this could violate HIPPA laws.
Judges face similar challenges when they choose to accept friend requests from prosecutors or defense lawyers who appear before them. In Florida, the court may soon clarify the parameters that judges and lawyers must abide by in regards to social media interaction. A Broward criminal case could set the stage for state law that will dictate who a judge can “friend” on Facebook. This case arose after a defense attorney filed a motion to disqualify a judge because he was friends on Facebook with the assistant state attorney.
Would you feel comfortable friend requesting your doctor?