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Doctors To Patients: First, Do No Yelp Harm

Unknown Lamer posted more than 3 years ago | from the mocha-latte-with-an-nda-please dept.

Censorship 581

theodp writes "When he walked into the dentist's office, Ars Technica's Timothy B. Lee was looking for cleaner teeth, but was shown the door after expressing outrage at being asked to first sign a 'mutual privacy agreement' calling for him to transfer ownership of any public commentary he might write in the future about his experience to the good doctor. Lee reports that similar censorious copyright agreements are popping up in doctors' offices across the country. 'Doctors and dentists are understandably worried about damage to their reputations from negative reviews,' writes Lee, but 'censoring patients is the wrong way for doctors to deal with online criticism.'"

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It's called "Being Fair"! (0, Troll)

Dr.Bob,DC (2076168) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241036)


Personally I think this type of agreement is sound and for good reason.

There are some on the Internet who claim that chiropractic adjustments have crippled or, in the case of cervical (neck) adjustments, caused sometimes fatal strokes in patients. It's hard to defend against that type of online slander when the real causes of the issues are pre-existing subluxations in the patient.

A patient may have waited far too long before visiting their chiropractor so the subluxation may already be critical. Who is saying that an adjustment is the cause of spinal cord damage or stroke? The "Medical Community"!

Yes, those same folks who are in the pockets of Big Pharma are the ones saying chiropractic can cause problems. They're upset because alternative medicine practitioners are actually saving lives and making people healthy, not prolonging misery as they do.

Show me just ONE DOCUMENTED case of chiropractic causing harm to a patient. You can't because it's 100% safe and effective. Proper adjustments are critical to your well being but the Big Pharma controlled Medical Community won't tell you this because they can't put chiropractic care in a pill.

Take care,
Bob.

Re:It's called "Being Fair"! (2)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241084)

when your own sig file outs you as a shill/troll, I really have to wonder what the internet is coming to.

We've got from people trolling legitimate users, to trolls trolling trolls, to trolls trolling themselves.

Re:It's called "Being Fair"! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36241100)

Chiropractors have no medical basis and can quite easily injure someone. It is classed as a new age medicine and has been shown to be dangerous by P&T Bullshit.

Re:It's called "Being Fair"! (1, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241276)

That's not true. My health insurance company doesn't cover treatments which aren't backed by evidence. Which means that while they will cover complementary care of a certain type, they don't necessarily cover all of the services that the specialty provides. And there have been several cases in recent years where medicines pulled by the FDA were never covered because they didn't have sufficient evidence to back them.

Re:It's called "Being Fair"! (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241396)

You realize health insurance pays for placebos as covered drugs, right?

You're a quack! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36241140)

Go away! Spammer!! Start your own damn site.. This place isn't for you...

Re:It's called "Being Fair"! (4, Insightful)

zeroshade (1801584) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241194)

There is absolutely no 100% safe and effective medicinal treatment for anything. No matter what it is, there is both the possibility it might not work, might have a side effect, or what not. To claim that any medical treatment is 100% safe and effective proves that you are just shilling.

Re:It's called "Being Fair"! (2)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241238)

Masturbation is a medical treatment and is 100% safe and effective.

Re:It's called "Being Fair"! (1)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241320)

Not if you intend to treat a broken wrist.

Re:It's called "Being Fair"! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36241538)

Gee I masturbated with a broken wrist and the Dr was amazed at the fast recovery time.

Re:It's called "Being Fair"! (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241350)

Masturbation is a medical treatment and is 100% safe and effective.

I will avoid the potential awkwardness of calling into question other aspects of that statement, and instead assert simply that masturbation is not a medical treatment.

Re:It's called "Being Fair"! (2)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241620)

Not exactly... [newscientist.com] .

Orgasms touch the reward center of the brain, releasing strong amounts of dopamine. Dopamine is essential for living what is essentially a "happy" and "normal" life, positively affecting social behavior, cognitive function, etc

Re:It's called "Being Fair"! (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36241292)

Deaths and paralysis [whatstheharm.net] That's just from a quick google for "chiropractic harm", there are MANY MANY more.

Re:It's called "Being Fair"! (1, Insightful)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241382)

cervical (neck) adjustments

Ok, I'm finally convinced. Beyond a shadow of a doubt. You're unquestionably a troll.

Even a chiropractor would know the difference between a clavicle and a cervical adjustment.

Re:It's called "Being Fair"! (3, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241466)

He is a troll and you are ignorant.

Demons of stupidity be gone from this man, rAmen!

Educate thyself:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cervical [wikipedia.org]

Re:It's called "Being Fair"! (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241490)

Ok, I learned something new today.

Re:It's called "Being Fair"! (2, Interesting)

adturner (6453) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241414)

While I have no doubt that proper chiropractic technique is safe and effective, there is always the possibility that the chiropractor didn't use proper technique or doesn't use the correct technique for the problem. That and I can say from personal experience that different chiropractors have different techniques and some are better then others. My last chiropractor was actually a husband/wife team and even though they tried to use the same technique, there was clear differences between the two of them. While they were OK (neither harmed me) I honestly have a hard time recommending them because I didn't get the same results as the guy I had used prior who unfortunately moved out of state.

My current chiropractor is much better and is far more open to listening to me and working with me and my life style to improve my health. Frankly he listens to me while my old one wanted to tell me how to live (specifically stop racing motorcycles).

Another reason I would give a negative review of my old chiropractor is that while he correctly had me get a MRI for my lower back, he then dismissed the analysis by the neurologist THAT HE RECOMMENDED and then made no changes in adjusting me. After I changed chiropractors, I had a new analysis done by a different neurologist (recommended by my current chiropractor) and the result is he changed how he adjusts me and the results have been fantastic.

Long story short, it's more then about someone causing your physical harm, but rather adjustment table side manner and technique which works for the patient.

Lastly, I'm really tired of the "us vs. them" mentality that chiropractors tend to have with the medical community. I'm not paying you so I can listen to how poorly you're treated by evil Big Pharma or people with Ph.D.'s. Bad mouthing others is a poor way of building a positive and long term relationship with a client.

Re:It's called "Being Fair"! (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241520)

There's an "us vs. them" because chiropractors are voodoo witch doctors.

Re:It's called "Being Fair"! (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241496)

Or, alternatively, chiropractors are nothing more than pseudo-scientific babbling witch doctors who shouldn't be allowed within a hundred yards of anyone with actual back problems.

Re:It's called "Being Fair"! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36241514)

You are the most persistent and dedicated slashdot troll in history.

I get a kick out of your posts because my wife is going to one of those whole-health chiropractors right now. They tell her they can cure everything from the flu to hangnails by popping her spine. So I LOL at your posts. :)

Streisand Effect (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241064)

Have these dentists never heard of the Streisand Effect? If anyone asked me to sign one of these I'd go right on Yelp and report it. Then everyone would know the professional in question has something to hide.

Re:Streisand Effect (3, Interesting)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241130)

I was under the impression that a contract cannot take away rights guaranteed by the constitution. Am I wrong?

Re:Streisand Effect (3, Insightful)

LunaticTippy (872397) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241186)

Many contracts are not legally binding. Many legal contracts contain unenforceable clauses. Lots of them are done intentionally, not for legal reasons but to bully the signer.

Re:Streisand Effect (4, Interesting)

guspasho (941623) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241512)

You mean like the supposedly unconscionable forced arbitration clauses? The ones that the Supreme Court just ruled are valid?

When everyone requires that you sign all your rights away as a matter of course, what rights do we have left? To to live in the woods somewhere and never interact with another human being.

Re:Streisand Effect (3, Informative)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241190)

Then no NDA would ever work. You can contractually waive certain rights within limits defined therein. It's not so much 'taking away' as 'voluntarily waiving'. Duress itself invalidates a contract. IANAL etc.

Re:Streisand Effect (1)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241330)

Excellent point. I wasn't trying to be snarky, just legitimately curious about the law.

Re:Streisand Effect (4, Informative)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241224)

The Constitution says the government cannot infringe on your right to free speech. You can certainly enter into a contract to limit your speech. That is exactly what Non Disclosure Agreements are.

Re:Streisand Effect (1)

JoeRandomHacker (983775) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241322)

I was under the impression that a contract cannot take away rights guaranteed by the constitution. Am I wrong?

True or not, the agreement is assigning copyright on future speech, presumably to allow for DMCA takedowns of "offending" speech, not actually restricting future speech. Really underhanded and sneaky, but to my non-legally-trained eye, not necessarily unconstitutional.

Re:Streisand Effect (3, Insightful)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241430)

A contract can not make you do something illegal. There is nothing illegal about saying 'I won't talk about you.'

More importantly, the Constitution says only what the government may, may not, and must do. It says nothing about what individuals may, may not, or must do. You have no 'constitutional rights' when dealing with another non-governmental entity.

Re:Streisand Effect (1)

guspasho (941623) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241498)

The Constitution guarantees that the government cannot abridge your freedom of speech, it says nothing about voluntarily giving it up in a private contract.

Re:Streisand Effect (1, Interesting)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241536)

Then they're welcome to put it in their contract, as long as the contract can be enforced by them and not by the government.

Re:Streisand Effect (1)

silverkniveshotmail. (713965) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241550)

So, NDAs must be invalid?

Re:Streisand Effect (1)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241154)


Wait for things like "Doctors_Ratings_2011-12-28a.rar" to be shared on teh evil BitTorrent.

Re:Streisand Effect (3, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241342)

More than the Streisand Effect there. Not only does this make you look awful to POTENTIAL customers, it makes you look even worse to EXISTING customers, who you're asking to sign the form. If you walked into a restaurant and were met at the door by an employee asking you to sign a waiver indemnifying them in case of food poisoning, would you stay and eat, or run like hell (and NEVER come back)?

If your doctor or dentist actually needs this... (2, Insightful)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241108)

You should probably find another doctor or dentist.

Re:If your doctor or dentist actually needs this.. (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241172)

That's my thought too. Why would they need such a document unless their service is crap? If someone is maliciously writing bad reviews, chances are they don't even go to that doctor or dentist in the first place.

Re:If your doctor or dentist actually needs this.. (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241208)

Because many customers/patients blame the vendor/doctor when the product or service is fine the the customer/patient is an idiot.

Re:If your doctor or dentist actually needs this.. (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241594)

Because many customers/patients blame the vendor/doctor when the product or service is fine the the customer/patient is an idiot.

Absolutely true, but if the doctor/dentist's solution is to have patients sign legally dubious, trust-destroying contracts like this, they are also overly litigious idiots.

Re:If your doctor or dentist actually needs this.. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241216)

Just wait until the ER wants you to sign this while you are bleeding from a headwound or some other serious injury.

Re:If your doctor or dentist actually needs this.. (4, Insightful)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241360)

It would be unenforceable. You would have been forced to sign under duress to seek potentially life saving treatment, if you were able to sign at all.

Re:If your doctor or dentist actually needs this.. (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241500)

You would have to go to court and spend thousands of dollars you may not have to fight such a thing.

Legal or not, the mere cost of fighting it will silence many people.

Re:If your doctor or dentist actually needs this.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36241546)

Invite the suing lawyer to your place for lunch, to discuss things. And make sure you have a pistol sitting on the coffee table within arms reach while discussing signatures under distress.

Re:If your doctor or dentist actually needs this.. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241628)

You will be the one doing the suing. They will have your comments removed and you will have to sue to get your ownership right back.

Any other bright ideas? Hopefully ones that don't end up with the victim in jail.

Re:If your doctor or dentist actually needs this.. (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241374)

That would be invalid, as it would be signed under duress.

Re:If your doctor or dentist actually needs this.. (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241390)

That would just make the judge laugh even harder.

The real fun thing here is that the doctors and the dentists are the ones being scammed, by the lawyers pushing this paperwork, as if the words being on the paper actually make them mean something.

Re:If your doctor or dentist actually needs this.. (1)

smelch (1988698) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241412)

I'm pretty sure any contract signed while bleeding from a serious injury would not be upheld in court. Duress, competancy, etc.

Re:If your doctor or dentist actually needs this.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36241376)

Look at it from the doctor's POV. Due to doctor patient confidentiality, they cannot respond to whatever is written about them or even deny or confirm that such and such a person is their patient. And whilst I do think that there are bad doctors, there are far more idiots that are willing to blame good doctors when the fact of the matter is that the doctor has done the best job that current medical science enables him to do.

Re:If your doctor or dentist actually needs this.. (5, Insightful)

rotide (1015173) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241572)

I'm not sold on this. If I was a dentist, lets say, and I want good reviews, I'll ask my customers to please rate me on such and such a site. You will _always_ have bad reviews and as a person who frequently reads reviews, I know how to filter out good and badly written reviews. If there are 10 great reviews and one complaining that the service wasn't covered under insurance or something like that, I wouldn't hold it against the dentist.

What's even more interesting, is that I actively seek out the bad reviews. When it comes to game reviews, for example, I go to the compilation sites like gamerankings etc, and purposely read the reviews that rated the game the worst. You can tell a lot about a game by the way the critical reviewers tear it apart. Maybe they only gripe about the graphics or something that just doesn't matter to me. If that's all they can muster, I can usually count on a quality experience.

Same happened when I was searching for a new dentist. The one I picked had some negative reviews, but they all boiled down to "while they were friendly and made you feel at ease.. (some complaint about money here)." So the negative review may or may not hurt "my" dentist in the long run, but I picked him because of the CONTENT of those negative reviews. The worst thing people could say was some of the stuff he did didn't end up covered fully under their particular insurance plans, that sucks, but it's your job to make sure the work will be covered before submitting to it!

In the end, the ones that censor reviews, usually have a reason why they fear them.

Re:If your doctor or dentist actually needs this.. (1)

fotoflojoe (982885) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241312)

Best comment so far.

Re:If your doctor or dentist actually needs this.. (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241334)

I got in early.

How could this possibly be binding? (3, Interesting)

LunaticTippy (872397) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241110)

If I get bad enough service anywhere, I will post a review somewhere. Mostly products and restaurants, but I've done it for a doctor that gave me an appointment 3 months out and then was hours late.

I almost never do this with my real name. It can be my pseudonymous yelp, google, etc. account. No doctor would be able to know that some nick is my real name. Unless they want to get a subpoena for every negative review (actually I can see some asshole doctors doing this) there is no way to enforce this policy.

Re:How could this possibly be binding? (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241232)

Man, I hate when doctors don't blow off emergencies to be on time to appointments made three months ago.

Re:How could this possibly be binding? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241316)

A golf game is not an emergency.

If you cannot make your appointments have your secretary call the people who will be impacted and reschedule. If you want to charge $40 for a missed visit, I should be able to charge my hourly short term contractor rate for time I wait beyond a reasonable 5-15 minutes.

Re:How could this possibly be binding? (1)

LunaticTippy (872397) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241370)

I'd be more sympathetic if it wasn't a pattern. I spoke to other patients in the waiting area, and some of them were regulars. They lamented the wait, and said that it was always bad. First appointment slot of the day was often late because the office would schedule 10 of them.

There are lots of doctors that don't habitually overbook their schedule. Smart ones actually leave gaps for urgent matters, or to recover their schedule after an unexpectedly long appointment.

I don't care if they have loans or whatnot. This particular doctor was a dermatologist who makes more than 6X median wages for the area. I was seen by a PA and met the doctor for mere seconds. That is blatant greed and bad care.

Re:How could this possibly be binding? (2)

Spectre (1685) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241582)

Part of the problem is the insurance companies ... if a doctor doesn't become a member of the plan, then they lose a potential patient base. But if they do become a member of the plan, then the insurance company dictates how many patients per day the doctor should be seeing and which treatments they should be providing, etc.

Re:How could this possibly be binding? (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241406)

Man, I hate it when doctors charge ME a fifty dollar cancellation fee if I'm ten minutes late, but they feel free to schedule patients at ten minutes a pop when they KNOW it is going to take longer. It's not emergencies that make a doctor late, it is greed and a complete lack of respect for their patients' time.

Re:How could this possibly be binding? (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241606)

I refuse to make any appointment after 9:10 AM. If I cannot be assured that I will be seen reasonably on time, I will not go. Sadly, eventually doctors will catch on an do what the telephone company does: we will see you sometime between 8am and 4pm. If you are not here when you are called, you are skipped and charged a fee.

Re:How could this possibly be binding? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241304)

But, if you're going to be posting a review it ought to be under your real name. It's the only way for their to be any accountability. This isn't like a restaurant where you can be pretty sure about what is and is not the fault of the restauranteur, with medicine it's tricky and doctors can end up being negatively rated for things which they have no control over.

Re:How could this possibly be binding? (2)

LunaticTippy (872397) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241442)

There is no way I am putting my medical care on the interwebs under my real name.

Besides, the doctors made their bed. They fought having meaningful rankings made public. They fought having outcomes measured. They don't deserve sympathy for people trying to review them despite their constant opposition.

Re:How could this possibly be binding? (3, Insightful)

SethJohnson (112166) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241528)

I almost never do this with my real name. It can be my pseudonymous yelp, google, etc. account. No doctor would be able to know that some nick is my real name.

See, that's what I was thinking. Then I re-read the description of the agreement. The patient is turning over all copyrights to future reviews to the doctor. If the doctor has one of these documents signed by EVERY patient, then he can petition the review site (Yelp) to remove negative reviews because he would claim to have copyright ownership of those reviews purportedly written by patients with anonymous names.

People posting in this thread about signing away right to free speech, etc. have only skimmed the summary without understanding this is assigning copyright ownership of future reviews to the doctor. There is no surrender of free speech. It's saying the doctor owns the content the patient may produce as a result of the service. It's the same as a journalist working at a newspaper. The newspaper owns the copyright to all articles created by its staff. Sure, it's backassward and a powergrab on the part of whatever doctor is trying to use this to suppress negative ratings.

Should it ever go to court, it would be unlikely to hold up, but I doub't an outfit like Yelp would resist a formal letter with some attached photocopies of some signed legal-sounding agreements. They'd probably yank the criticism from the site and then offer to sell some ads to the doctor in the same conversation.

Don't forget, Yelp isn't selling anything to the users. Yelp's customer is the doctor.

Seth

This type of thing should be illegal (1)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241114)

This type of thing should be illegal. First thing wrong is it hampers someones right to free speech. Second, a man should be subject to his actions. If he does something wrong, the public (future patients) have a right to know about it.

Granted, you have idiots and troublemakers who post unwarranted bad things, but they too should be subject to their actions.

Re:This type of thing should be illegal (2)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241274)

This type of thing should be illegal.

Why? it is a voluntary contact. Yes, it is stupid. That just means you need to find a new doctor.

First thing wrong is it hampers someones right to free speech.

No, it doesn't. Again, a voluntary contract. Your speech is only limited if you sign the contract - just like a Non Disclosure Agreement.

Re:This type of thing should be illegal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36241416)

And then when medical boards/unions start strongly encouraging all doctors to do this where are we left? In some places getting a new doctor isn't easy either.

Re:This type of thing should be illegal (1)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241592)

Seriously, why are people so worried about this? Do you intend to sign the contact with "Anonymous Coward on Slashdot". The doctor needs to demonstrate the material to take down is indeed theirs.

The contract sounds horrendous but is almost completely unenforceable.

Re:This type of thing should be illegal (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241604)

No, it doesn't. Again, a voluntary contract. Your speech is only limited if you sign the contract - just like a Non Disclosure Agreement.

Uh huh. And this will never catch on and become standard procedure for all health professionals. Just like one-sided "contracts" haven't become standard in the phone business, the ISP business, the cable TV business . . . and just about every other business. But who really needs health care, anyway? If I don't like it, I can clean my own teeth.

Re:This type of thing should be illegal (1)

sohmc (595388) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241280)

Just to clarify:

The Constitution protects you from the government, not to a private entity. If you sign a contract, then you agree to it.

The best way for a doctor or dentist to prevent bad exposure is to make clear that they want to fix anything if you have a bad experience. Always give the merchant a chance to turn things around. If they still fail, then they deserve the bad review.

Re:This type of thing should be illegal (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241282)

Why would it be illegal? Just find a different doctor/dentist if you don't want to sign it. If enough people do that then they will think twice about requiring it.

And many things hamper a persons right to free speech. Everything from NDAs to sexually harassing comments. And unless Congress is your doctor then the 1st Amendment doesn't play here.

wow. (0)

indecks (1208854) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241116)

These people are ridiculous!

Just scribble a random scrawl (1)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241120)

Instead of a signature. It won't hold-up in court (because you can claim you refused to sign, and its not your signature), and you will not be forced to keep silent about how the doctor or dentist provided lousy service.

And speaking of lousy service:
Don't deal with Charles Schwab. I opened a Roth IRA that was supposed to be dated 2010, but they delayed the account, made me take a "Patriot Test" by phone, and slapped 2011 on it.
i.e. They lied. Damn bankers. And no I didn't sign an NDA.

Re:Just scribble a random scrawl (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241344)

So, you end up being held in contempt of court after being held liable for libel. Good plan. And probably perjury as well.

I don't personally see any reason why this wouldn't be legally enforceable.

Re:Just scribble a random scrawl (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241448)

To be held liable for libel, they'd have to prove your statements were false. Which we'll assume they aren't, or you wouldn't be making them.

Re:Just scribble a random scrawl (-1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241474)

A contract is not valid if it does not have a valid AND LEGIBLE signature. So that non-disclosure paper would be voided by the judge and you, the patient, would not be guilty of breach-of-contract since no contract exists.

Obvious.

Re:Just scribble a random scrawl (1)

GryMor (88799) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241590)

If it's emergency care, Duress?

NDA Doesn't Apply to Non-patients (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36241128)

The office complained that the main reason to ask people to sign these was that non-patients were fraudulently posting lies and negative information on message boards. When Timothy asked how this NDA would even apply to non-patients, they shut up and couldn't answer him.

EFF Has more on this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36241152)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/05/medical-justice-stifling-speech-patients-touch

"Whether you’re buying a car, looking for a nearby cafe or hunting for deals on sneakers, the Internet – and especially crowd-sourced online review sites like Yelp – can help you decide which businesses to patronize. But one company is taking away users’ voices when it comes to reviewing medical services. Medical Justice, started in 2002, is a member-based service for physicians that works to restrict unflattering reviews of participating doctors. Patients who go to these doctors sign a contract that assigns, in advance, the copyright in any online review to the physician being reviewed. A doctor who doesn’t like an unflattering post can then use a copyright infringement claim to have the post removed."

Re:EFF Has more on this (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241210)

It's a weird idea, since a contract can always be broken. How do they expect to prevent people from breaking their contracts, and thus retaining their copyrights? Do they un-do the surgery? That would be even worse press. Is there a monetary fine clause for breaking the contract? I can imagine the press there, too.

Re:EFF Has more on this (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241534)

Think it through, man! Contracts can be broken when one party fails to live up to the conditions of the contract. In this case, that is not possible. You assign the copyright to the doctor, it's a done deal. You post a nasty review. The doctor tells the site in question, "That review is mine, here's the contract that says so. Take it down." And the site in question does so. How in the world are you going to do anything about that? Tell the site, "Nuh uh, it's mine despite what the contract says, 'cause I'm breaking the contract, see?" What do you think the site would do? What would a judge say?

Re:EFF Has more on this (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241600)

You assign the copyright to the doctor in exchange for dental service. If you didn't receive satisfactory dental service, the doctor didn't fulfill their end of the agreement.

Times change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36241156)

We've gone from "The customer is always right" to "All your base are belong to us".

Government (1)

tsnorquist (1058924) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241164)

Won't be long until the US Government institutes this policy with its agencies.

Sign a scrawl that says "Rejected" or some such il (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36241242)

If you don't sign your name but just some scrawl that says "rejected" or Go suck a lemon" or some such,
in sufficiently illegible form, then if they try to come back, you can point out you did not agree
to the terms. If they remark it doesn't look like your sig, then tell them too bad...

The Generation of Faux Connoisseurs (3, Insightful)

eepok (545733) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241246)

While I don't agree with such contracts, I really can understand why doctors would want to use them.

Back in the day (5-10 years ago), most doctor reviews were tempered by face-to-face interaction. "Hey Bill, how's your dentist?" -- "He's alright. Just ask to get gassed and all dentists are good, am I right?"

But come the internet with pseudonymity (or at least obscurity), people have deemed themselves connoisseurs of consumption-- veritable professional critics of the utterly mundane.

Yelp houses an asinine number of these people who will judge an entire business (small, large, chain, etc.) on single experiences. Their words will be filled with praise or disdain. Hate or Love. They photograph EVERYTHING, photograph and compare perfect omelets, critique the crispness of lettuce in salads, comfort of chairs in waiting rooms, and even banter of workers.

They scrutinize everything mundane because the quality of service and products are so similar, there's NOTHING TO TALK ABOUT otherwise. They polarize their opinions with "Avoid this place!!!" and "YOU MUST TRY THIS PLACE OUT!" and given the following on sites like Yelp, it actually affects business.

And it's not as though histories of reviews can be wiped. I know of one small bike shop that was, understandably, railed for its elitist attitudes towards budget bikes. When new management came in (bike hippy instead of Lycra-rider), the Bike Shop itself changed, but it still had to fight 3 years of bad reviews on Yelp.

I really don't blame doctors for attempting this route. There are better ways to go about it, though.

Re:The Generation of Faux Connoisseurs (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241284)

That bike shop should have changed its name. That is what one should always do if such a massive change is made.

If I am going to a restaurant I want to know if they serve soggy lettuce. Doctors often charge if I am late but make me wait hours so the damn chairs better be comfortable, and hell yes if I am paying the workers can try to pretend to be working.

Re:The Generation of Faux Connoisseurs (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241428)

You sound an awful lot like a connoisseur of Yelp.

Re:The Generation of Faux Connoisseurs (3, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241584)

Don't you hate it when inferior people get all uppity and attempt to judge their betters? They should just mindlessly consume what they are told to and spare us their worthless, inferior opinions.

Should take more of a shrink-wrap license approach (5, Funny)

Valacosa (863657) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241252)

What are they thinking? The doctors aren't thinking outside the box enough. Really, instead of getting people to sign old-fashioned contracts, they should emulate the EULA. You know, by putting up a plaque in their office which says something like this:

By entering this building, you agree to transfer to this establishment copyright on all creative works you own including but not limited to written works, drawings, photographs, spoken-word works, in perpetuity.

Amateurs.

Re:Should take more of a shrink-wrap license appro (2)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241440)

Thanks a lot. You posted this in jest, but this exact EULA is now hanging in my dentist's office.

Devil's advocate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36241264)

Agree with most of what is here, but one interesting point is that Doctor's do not have the right to respond, since they are bound by confidentiality. What if the terms of these contracts would free the doctors from the requirements of confidentiality if someone publicly comments?

Courts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36241272)

Simple, sign a different name and make it hard to read as possible. If it ever goes to court, you can simply say that is not your signature. Are you lying under oath? Nope. Also the Judge would most likely be pissed in the first place having to hear the case.

Devils Advocate (2)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241300)

Part of the problem is when ever someone is unhappy it is now much too easy to rant about your disapproval. However positive messages are harder to come by. For many these angry rants are not about facts but emotions of the time, and often a misunderstanding of the service they will receive.
A minor lapse in bedside manner, or just telling the patient something they didn't want to hear could effect their credentials.

Re:Devils Advocate (1)

i.am.delf (1665555) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241464)

Its even more than just this. In the US and many other countries there are patient privacy laws(see HIPAA). Normally on Yelp, a customer posts a negative review about a store or restaurant. The owner can come along and acknowledge it, dispute it, or comment on it. In the case of medicine, the doctor is barred by law from commenting on any specific patient's care. For example, if a patient, says my wound became infected because of this doctor. The doctor could not respond, proper care of the wound would have prevented that infection. In any case when in comes to medicine, the conversation becomes completely one sided.

people in glass houses... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36241324)

This actually makes a fair bit of sense. you can whine and bitch all you want about your doctor, tell anything you want, and they are essentially legally prohibited from doing anything.

They can't even safely say that you're a patient! (granted if you've opened that door, they can walk through it). But any situations that lead to it, they CANNOT divulge without serious ramifications to them professionally.

Essentially they've been put into a place where people can (online) hold them down and punch them, and they cannot defend themselves.

How about change the contract, instead of you cannot say anything, you CAN.. but in doing so you waive ALL of your medical privacy rights so they can defend themselves (because patients .. or computer users NEVER lie.. right?).

Oh, that doesn't sound so good? you just want to be able to punch away? bitch and moan with your lies.. That's what I thought.

Name the dentist (1)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241394)

From TFA: Dr. Ken Cirka

signed under duress - not a contract??? (1)

rcpitt (711863) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241436)

So, I run into the dentist's office with a horrendous toothache, tears in my eyes and pain in my expression - and get handed this to sign. Do the legal beagles out there think this is a fair contract signed in good faith?

I'm betting that a case can be made that this at least some such signatures were obtained under duress and therefore not valid.

You can fairly review some things (1)

PoderOmega (677170) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241478)

I do think that it is tough to give definitive bad reviews on diagnoses and outcomes of treatments due to the complexity of our bodies. However, I think it is completely fair to give reviews based on the experiences with the staff and office itself. If you wait an hour after your appointment was scheduled, if the nurse or doctor was rude, or if the office was not in a clean condition, I want to be able to read those reviews.

Common sense out the window (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241486)

Used to be- "Hey doc/dentist, [whatever you did] didn't help. And you were kind of snarky about it." Ya know, human communication and all that fancy word talking?

Now- "My tooth still hurts, so I'm going to post bad reviews instead of going back and asking it to be fixed. Or get it fixed, and still say bad stuff."
Someone above said they never use their real name in bad reviews. And probably would be the first person to complain about (at least semi-) anonymous reviews about their service.

There are bad doc/dentists. There are bad everywhere. Just don't go back. Unless your dentist or doc causes irreparable harm, then you go get 'em. Of course, everyone makes mistakes. Not enough Novacaine --> little bit more pain --> "HE IS HORRIBLE AND WILL EAT YOUR PUPPIES ALIVE!!!!"

But I also think this non-disclosure thing is bunk, too.
Everyone seems to just want to go over the top nowadays.

I never want to move and have to find doctors (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241522)

I have an excellent family doctor now. I and others sing his praises online - with the caveat that because he is so popular, getting an appointment is impossible. Same goest for my current dentist. I love her to bits. I dread ever moving and having to find other doctors and dentists. Neither of them have any such sign or agreement - because they don't need it!

Sign away.... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241544)

You cant sign away your basic rights. Who cares what scumbag lawyer the doctor hired to write up that drivel. It's not enforceable. You can not sign away your rights to free speech.

This is due to bad patients.... (1)

madhatter256 (443326) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241602)

That's not always true. There are a ton of good doctors and dentists out there. Just a handful of some that are really bad and do deserve to have their licenses removed.

It is the bad patients and lawyers. It is the patients that go to webMD and think they have a certain ailment and then the doctor runs tests and tells them it's something else, then the patient sues. Patients over exagerate problems and concerns.

What's the point of practicing if you are going to get sued because of some idiot who read something on the internet???

That's why dentists and doctors have such papers, even release papers.

You can still sue for malpractice even if you signed something before the operation and the doctor did screw up.

I can kind of understand (4, Insightful)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241612)

I kind of understand where these Dentists are coming from. I used to work at a pool construction company that was heavily impacted by unwarranted negative reviews online.

Pool owners are the worst; they're usually well off, used to getting their way, and generally don't understand how construction time tables work. They usually start thinking of a pool in March, or April, and want it done and open for Memorial Day or the 4th of July. They usually don't understand we have more than one customer who all also want their pool done on the same timeframe. Further, they don't understand we can't work in bad weather, which means time tables tend to slip in the rainy season.

So inevitably, people get delayed and it's the end of the world for them because they won't have their pool open for their all important Memorial Day BBQ. So they fly online and rant and rave about how awful our business is, because they couldn't read their contract. And of course, if you type our name into Google, the first three results that come up are from ripoffreports.com or a similar site.

What's worse is these stay online forever. We've made most all of our customers happy in the end, and they've told us they would take down or redact the negative reviews, but even they can't. So because they flew off the handle despite our goodwill efforts, we're the ones that have to suffer.

So, while I feel like the Doctor's approach isn't the most tactful, I understand where he's coming form.

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