The Healthcare Blogger Code of Ethics was made so that medical bloggers could give a clear statement of their blog's ethic. It was brought up that there are people who are not healthcare workers who wanted to stand behind the code but did not want to portray themselves as medical bloggers, so the Patient Blogger logo was created. The code for Patients is the same as the Healthcare blogger code.
If you would like to display either logo on your blog and be listed on the Code's Website, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Clear representation of perspective - readers must understand the training and overall perspective of the author of a blog. Certainly bloggers can have opinions on subjects outside of their training, and these opinions may be true, but readers must have a place to look on a blog to get an idea of where this author is coming from. This also encompasses the idea of the distinction between advertisement and content. This does not preclude anonymous blogging, but it asks that even anonymous bloggers share the professional perspective from which they are blogging.
- Confidentiality - Bloggers must respect the nature of the relationship between patient and medical professionals and the clear need for confidentiality. All discussions of patients must be done in a way in which patients' identity cannot be inferred.
- Commercial Disclosure - the presence or absence of commercial ties of the author must be made clear for the readers. If the author is using their blog to pitch a product, it must be clear that they are doing that. Any ties to device manufacturer and/or pharmaceutical company ties must be clearly stated.
- Reliability of Information - citing sources when appropriate and changing inaccuracies when they are pointed out
- Courtesy - Bloggers should not engage in personal attacks, nor should they allow their commenters to do so. Debate and discussion of ideas is one of the major purposes of blogging. While the ideas people hold should be criticized and even confronted, the overall purpose is a discussion of ideas, not those who hold ideas.
Thanks to Private Medical Media for help in creation of the logo.