Social Question

samelike's avatar

Is it legal to get advice from a doctor online?

Asked by samelike (22points) August 10th, 2010

is it legal to get advice from online doctors thanks ray

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15 Answers

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

Sure, it’s legal, but it’s probably not very wise.

gemmasgma's avatar

Are we talking about any random person on the internet claiming to be a doctor, or are we talking about a known doctor giving advice to you online rather than forcing you to come to an expensive office visit in order to ask a question? I work for a large Healthcare Company, and our patients routinely have online secured messaging access to their own physicians and nurses. Patients also have the option to schedule a planned telephone visit with their physician, view their lab results online, order medication online, and schedule visits online. What this results in is longer in person visits when these are necessary, and really great access to your own doctor for simple questions and follow up needs.

samelike's avatar

i am referring to to a real medical doctor…is it legal to get an answer from him online thanks samelike

gemmasgma's avatar

yes, so long as the problem you are having does not require a physical exam to diagnose.

samelike's avatar

i am referring to a medical doctor

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
gemmasgma's avatar

Group Health Cooperative in the Pacific Northwest. Kaiser Permanente also has a very similar philosophy with online access.

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JilltheTooth's avatar

You guys might want to take this over to personal messaging so you’re not giving everybody all your info. Just saying.

poofandmook's avatar

You can ask any doctor you want. The issue here is the doctor answering you. If a doctor gives you medical advice online without an examination, and you take it, and it results in you becoming ill or even dying, you/your family could sue that doctor, and he could lose his license.

Disc2021's avatar

Why wouldn’t it be legal? You’re asking a professional for their opinion.

The line gets tricky though on the professional’s side – it would be wise to be protected by a sort of disclaimer or something that doesn’t hold them legally accountable for misinformation/misdiagnosis in case the “patient” would try to turn around and sue whoever they’re getting the advice from.

downtide's avatar

Yes but there will usually be a disclaimer, which means that if you follow their advice, and things go horribly wrong, you can’t sue them.

Minute_And_A_Huff's avatar

Yes and no. You can ask them, and they can help you, but it doesn’t carry any more weight than you asking anyone else on the internet. They aren’t legally your doctor, and you aren’t legally their patient. In order to create the doctor-patient relationship, they need to see you, you need to sign some forms, and they need to have a chart on you. Their advice might be better than others on the internet, but you can’t sue them, and they don’t have to keep your info confidential.

However, you can talk to a doctor you are already seeing through online methods, such as emailing them that you can’t remember if it’s ok to take the medication they prescribed on an empty stomach.

YARNLADY's avatar

I have been a patient with Kaiser Permanente for a long time. My doctor knows me, and all my medical information is online (password protected), so when she gives me online advice, I believe it is valid.

To take recommendations from an online doctor who I have never met would require that the advice be in the same general terms that I can find on any reputable MD website.

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