Posted by: wortix | May 5, 2008

Online Treatment: Telemedicine, e-Health, e-Treatment: Legal Scope

Please post any information you may like to share about Online Medical Treatment and its legal boundaries:

“It is essential that the doctor and the patient can reliably identify each other in a telemedicine consultation”

“The major application of telemedicine is the situation in which the treating doctor seeks another doctor´s opinion or advice, at the request of or with the permission of the patient”


Telemedicine is not a panacea and its disadvantages include:

* Possible legal implications–Although it has yet to be tested in the courts, telemedicine is not thought to raise any new issues of principle in comparison with use of telephone, fax, mail, or email for consulting. It does not alter either the duty of care owed to patients by healthcare staff or their interprofessional relationships18

* Having to rely on an amanuensis during teleconsultation–However, experience shows that a rapport is quickly established

* Depersonalisation

* Bureaucracy–Use of telemedicine may require a radical change in the way that services are provided and paid for

* Overdependence on technology that may be unreliable

* Clinical risk–As with any other activity, the clinical risks associated with telemedicine must be managed.

None of these drawbacks is unsurmountable. The real danger is that unbridled curiosity and commercial pressure may drive the widespread introduction of telemedicine before the time is right. Thus, instead of telemedicine being a process to support, enhance, and develop health care, the process itself will become the priority. Preventing this does not require formal regulation. Rather, the introduction of telemedicine should be guided by the principles of:

* Evidence based practice

* Appropriate risk management

* Proved cost effectiveness

* Maintenance of equity in provision of health care

* Partnership between patients and professionals in future developments.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: