A surgeon tries to shut down a patient blog attacking him

He’ll lose every time, since blogs are protected free speech. In addition, HIPAA prevents him from fighting back.

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  • KipEsquire

    Blogs aren’t “protected free speech” — opinions are protected free speech. An opinion can never constitute actionable defamation, on a blog or anywhere else.

    But woe to anyone who knowingly posts, as “fact,” a false and defamatory statement on a blog, including in the comments. Do not expect the First Amendment to protect you.

    (In my opinion.)

  • RJS

    Free speech doesn’t mean that the surgeon cannot sue for libel, assuming what the person is saying is untrue.

  • Anonymous

    Any lawyers here to comment on HIPAA in this setting. The patient has filed a lawsuit of malpractice, which puts her entire medical record and deposition out there as public records.
    Is the doc free to comment on the records the patient has placed in the public record of the courts? Basically anyone can go to the courthouse and obtain these records and post any comments they wish on line without risk of HIPAA.

  • Anonymous

    The website is:

    http://www.mysurgerynightmare.com/default.php

    Interesting before and after pictures.

    I do feel sorry for her.

  • Rich, MD

    The suggestion by that site that the number of malpractice cases filed somehow reflects on the quality of the service he provides is disturbing. They are filings, not awards or judgements.

  • Anonymous

    He said, she said.

    Bah.

    The patient obviously isn’t handling this well, but I wouldn’t assume the surgeon is lily-white either. I suspect the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

  • theory of aging

    Blogging should be the right to free speech. As one of the earlier anonymous bloggers said, the records are open to the public and cannot be called for defamation. If it is an open record that is out to the public, the person liable for that is the patient who should of known that it was open. If the records were private then I can see an issue but since they are public, this should not be an issue.

  • theory of aging

    Blogging should be the right to free speech. As one of the earlier anonymous bloggers said, the records are open to the public and cannot be called for defamation. If it is an open record that is out to the public, the person liable for that is the patient who should of known that it was open. If the records were private then I can see an issue but since they are public, this should not be an issue.

  • Anonymous

    Not a lawyer but it is my understanding that if you are sued, or are publicly defamed by a patient you are not bound by privacy duties to that patient in defending yourself. That doesn’t mean that it is the smart thing to do. Sometimes it is just better to let people make fools of themselves without your help rather than get into a pissing contest with a skunk.

    Now this surgeon has called even more public attention to this one unhappy patient.

  • Anonymous

    In the “After” picture does she does look surprised. Maybe her face is stuck that way, or maybe she’s just raising her eyebrows. There’s really no way to know.

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