Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
THURSDAY, 24 APR 2014
09:58 PM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
27 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
Lebanon News
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Order of Physicians plans end to media ban
Doctors protest outside the premises of the American University of Beirut Medical Center in Beirut, Lebanon over the detention of Doctor Musa Abu Hamad on Monday, June 18, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
Doctors protest outside the premises of the American University of Beirut Medical Center in Beirut, Lebanon over the detention of Doctor Musa Abu Hamad on Monday, June 18, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
A+ A-

BEIRUT: Within the next three weeks the Lebanese Order of Physicians plans to end a ban that has been in place since mid-June preventing doctors from conducting interviews with the media.

The blanket ban was issued following the detention of Dr. Musa Abu Hamad. The physician was detained after the death of a woman seven months pregnant and her unborn child in his care. His detention led to strikes held in solidarity with the detained doctor at a number of hospitals in Beirut.The treatment of the case by some areas of the press pushed the order to reevaluate its media strategy.

Speaking to The Daily Star at the time Sharaf Abu Sharaf, head of the Order, expressed incredulity at the detention and criticized some media outlets for jumping to conclusions about Abu Hamad without evidence.

“Doctors are important figures within society. When a doctor is speaking people take it as an ultimate truth.”
The organization had already been considering the creation of strategies to regulate the interaction of doctors with the media. In tune with these developments the prime-time MTV show “The Doctors”— in which a team of four Lebanese physicians with different specialties answer health questions presented by the public – was discontinued mid-June.

Currently no regulations are in place. According to Suzanne Heydamous, head of media relations at the Order, this has led to a number of blunders in which misinformation or expressions of personal opinion have appeared in print and a number of doctors have appeared to seek self-promotion on television.

“The situation was getting out of control,” says Heydamous, adding that a new strategy currently being developed by the Order will include the establishment of a system whereby doctors must submit interview requests to the head of their society and obtain approval before proceeding.

Further planned measures include the requirement for copies of interviews to be submitted to the Order before publication.

“If the doctor is a dermatologist he must seek approval from the head of the dermatology society, and etcetera, depending on the physician’s practicing discipline,” explains Heydamous. “The ban is necessary as there were examples of doctors spreading propaganda and seeking self-promotion on television in a way that contradicts the ethos of being a physician.”

Heydamous concedes that the planned regulations will somewhat stymie press requests for medical information due to the procedures doctors will have to follow to receive authorization. However she maintains that their introduction is imperative in order to maintain an ethical code that has been compromised by a lack of regulation.

“Doctors are important figures within society. When a doctor is speaking people take it as an ultimate truth,” says Heydamous. “It is fine for a doctor to publicly give advice for someone to stay at home and rest if they have a cold, however if a doctor starts expressing personal opinions about issues, say for example plastic surgery, then this is not good for the ethical code. ”

Heydamous says that a number of doctors have been disciplined for comments made on television shows and in print. Primarily a warning is issued, while repeat offenders face the penalty of having their medical license temporarily revoked. Heydamous says that such action has taken place on at least one occasion in the last couple of months.

 
Home Lebanon News
 
     
 
doctors / media / Order of Physicians / Lebanon
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
More from
Martin Armstrong
 
 
Migrant construction workers lack safety net
 
 
Designing apps for Haifa and the computer illiterate
 
 
Serail sit-in resolute but lacks numbers on eve of Eid al-Adha
 
 
Concert planned in solidarity with Ashrafieh victims
 
 
Beirut demo calls on Cabinet to quit
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Thursday April 24, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Israel shows Zionism’s true colors
Michael Young
Michael Young
For Christians, blessed are the dividers
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
An Iran deal is close, but we’re not there yet
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS