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From: dad (
Subject:         Re: The first amendment protections of offering advice
Date: December 10, 2013 at 3:33 pm PST

In Reply to: Re: The first amendment protections of offering advice posted by ana on December 9, 2013 at 8:49 pm:

ana - The AMA is a voluntary association of medical
doctors. And there are lots of MDs in the US who
are not members of the AMA. The AMA is not part of
the government, and cannot make laws.

Now, it is true that doctors need to be licensed in
order to practice, and there are laws about that.
But thatís different than the AMA. The licensing
body of doctors generally stipulates that doctors
can't give personalized, directed medical advice to
someone without examining them first. The reason for
this is because it's considered irresponsible and
unethical, and it could even be dangerous. So,
providing medical advice of this sort over the
internet could cost a doctor their license. Thus,
for doctors, it's not illegal to provide advice of
this sort per se, but it isnít a wise thing to do
from a career perspective because afterwards it may
be illegal for them to practice medicine because
they lost their license.

Furthermore, it could be illegal for doctors to
prescribe treatments over the internet in another
way. Doctors are usually only licensed in the state
where they work. If the "patient"/internet poster is
located in a state in which the doctor is not
licensed, then the doctor could be convicted of
practicing medicine without a license in the state
where the "patient"/internet poster is located.

Now all of the above only applies to people who
identify themselves as being a doctor on an internet
forum. People who donít claim to be a doctor donít
need to worry about this. This is why I said in my
initial post that the fact that Steven ďdidnít
portray himself as being particularly knowledgeable
on this issueĒ helps his defense in his case.

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