UK’s General Medical Council to restrict what doctors can state online

A new update to the Hippocratic Oath.

The Britian’s General Medical Council has updated the Hippocratic Pledge to reflect current censorial times. The updated draft will prohibit doctors from spreading “ misinformation” on the web.

“ Good medical practice will be the bedrock that helps guide honest practice and supports physicians to provide the best possible care in a world of increasingly complicated medicine, ” said GMC’s CEO Charlie Massey  via The Telegraph.

“ There is a lots of evidence of the damage bad workplace cultures can do to individual safety and, ultimately, to the UK’s ability to retain the healthcare professionals it needs.

“ Toxic cultures may also spread online, undermining general public trust in the medical job. ”

“ We’ve had feedback that will doctors want more clarity on using social media. We have been already clear that doctors must be honest and trustworthy in their communications, and are at this point emphasizing that this applies to every forms of communication. The concepts remain the same whether the conversation is written, spoken or via social media, ” this individual added.

The draft assistance also prohibits doctors through discussing topics that are from their expertise.

It says they should “ be honest and reliable … make clear the limitations of your knowledge.. [and to] make reasonable bank checks to make sure any information you provide is not misleading. ”

The new guidance also warns against trolling.

“ You must not misuse, discriminate against, bully, take advantage of, or harass anyone, or condone such behavior by others. This applies to all interactions, including on social media and networking sites, ” the draft guidance states.

The use of social media by doctors has become questionable during the pandemic, with some using social media to express their stress with lockdowns, promoting Covid treatments that have been ruled inadequate by public health organizations, and claiming vaccines usually do not work.

Last December, a judge ruled that the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Support made a mistake by banning a doctor accused of spreading misinformation about Covid through discussing such topics on social media.

Aside from prohibiting doctors from distributing misinformation online, the updated Hippocratic Oath states that doctors have a duty “ to act, or support others to act, if they become aware of workplace bullying, harassment or splendour, as well as zero tolerance of sexual harassment. ”

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