There are several different kinds of comments that have been showing up on my blog, so I’m setting a sort of procedure to deal with them.
First, neophyte that I am at this blogging business, I didn’t realize that blogs can be spammed. Well, I found out in a hurry a couple of weeks ago. I logged on to my blog and instead of finding the three or four comments I’m used to seeing I found about 120. My immediate thought, of course, was that I had been linked to from someone with a monster blog following. As soon as I clicked on the comments, however, I was disabused of that notion. All these rogue comments started out with saying how much they enjoyed my blog, how happy they were to have found my site, how interested they were in all the info I was providing, etc. When I opened the full comment to bask in the glory, what I found was a link to another site. I realized that these comments were simply Trojan Horses to get into my blog with the hope that I would simply hit the Approve button and they would be passed on to my readers. Since then I’ve found that I can refuse comments that contain URLs, which seems to have stopped the problem for now.
Most comments are strictly that: comments. I feel compelled to answer them, and if I don’t have a pithy answer at hand I procrastinate. Before long a dozen more have come in and I’m way behind. From now on I’m simply going to approve them and let the readers of this blog comment and generate a dialog if they want. I will add my two cents worth here and there.
Other comments are really questions that, once again, if I’m in a rush or have to look up something get moved to the back of the pile and start to stack up. I’m going to approve these immediately as well. Anyone is free to answer the question and I’ll approve that comment, too, as long as it is correct. I’ll answer the questions myself as I can without getting too far behind.
Another more troubling kind of comment I get fairly regularly is really a request for specific medical information. Unfortunately, I can’t answer these and since they often contain personal medical information I won’t approve them for the group to read. It’s a strange world we live in. If someone writes asking medical information of Kevin Trudeau, he can give it and not be found liable. He isn’t a doctor and isn’t holding himself out as one. If someone were to write him and ask if he (the writer) should decrease or stop his diabetic medication, and Trudeau told him to go ahead and reduce it, Trudeau isn’t liable. If one were to ask one’s next door neighbor the same question (assuming said next door neighbor wasn’t a physician), and got the same answer, the next door neighbor would incur no medical liability because the next door neighbor isn’t holding himself (or herself) out as a doctor.
I am a licensed physician and I want to stay that way. If I give specific medical advice without examining the patient in question and reviewing labwork, EKGs, etc. I am incurring two kinds of potential problems. First, I can (and probably should be) sued for malpractice should something go wrong with the patient. Second, I could be taken to task by the State Medical Board in the state in which the “patient” resides for practicing medicine without a license in that state. As ridiculous as that sounds, it happens all the time. I just read of a case in which a doctor in one state sent a copy of one of his patients’s MRI’s to a physician at Yale who is the world’s expert on the disease in question for a second opinion. The State Medical Board in the referring physician’s state started making noises about trying to charge the Yale physician for practicing medicine in the state where the patient resides without a license.
So, please don’t ask me for specific medical advice through the Comments feature of this blog. Thanks in advance.
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