Part of the dynamic I believe as an attorney who specializes in online and internet defamation of character, as well as doctor defamation is that in many instances it’s a blame the messenger situation. Where the physician is generating bills which are sometimes very onerous on patients who can’t pay them. That doctors are the ones who are providing their patients with bad news sometimes about their health condition. That not every patient can be cured, and therefore the blame the doctor phenomena will spit out this anger that is sometimes expressed on the internet. So doctors are sometimes subject to unfair and unwarranted commentary by their patients; and in some instances by other doctors who are posing as patients. Sometimes that commentary will involve false statements of fact about the doctor, which can meet the test of defamation of character under state law.
Posts Tagged ‘doctor defamation’
Doctors have a special relationship with their patients, and patients often have extremely high expectations of doctors. Complicating things is the fact that you’ve got health insurance which may or may not cover certain procedures, you’ve got all these different influences on medical care, and pathways of health and clinical diagnosis. And so, there’s this tremendous opportunity for that often amazing doctor-, physician-patient relationship to go astray.
Internet defamation against a doctor or physician is becoming much more common because of it is so easy for anyone to post a doctor ‘rating’ on a web site. Web sites such as Google Places, AVVO, www.healthgrades.com, www.ratemds.com, www.vitals.com, angieslist.com and a variety of other rating and review web sites.
Too often, the review, comment or rating is a purposely untrue statement by a disgruntled patient, competitor or anonymous person. A doctor’s reputation is defamed and search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing return the false statement every time someone searches for that doctor’s name. Libel on the internet can cost a doctor more than their reputation for life. It can put them out of business.
Understanding how to handle these issue requires real expertise not only in defamation, slander and libel law but also internet law. Understanding how to deal with web site hosts, user generated content (UGC), Communications Decency Act (CDA) immunity are primary for an attorney looking to help a doctor with on-line defamation issues. We can help. Contact us today to learn more about legal options for doctors facing defamation on the internet. If you don’t protect your reputation, who will?