Over 2,000 US doctors have joined a service that supplies them with EULAs for their patients to sign, EULAs that forbid the patients from writing bad reviews of their treatment online:
Segal said such postings say nothing about what should really matter to patients – a doctor's medical skills – and privacy laws and medical ethics prevent leave doctors powerless to do anything it.
His company, Medical Justice, is based in Greensboro, N.C. For a fee, it provides doctors with a standardized waiver agreement. Patients who sign agree not to post online comments about the doctor, "his expertise and/or treatment."
"Published comments on Web pages, blogs and/or mass correspondence, however well intended, could severely damage physician's practice," according to suggested wording the company provides.
Segal's company advises doctors to have all patients sign the agreements. If a new patient refuses, the doctor might suggest finding another doctor. Segal said he knows of no cases where longtime patients have been turned away for not signing the waivers.
Doctors are notified when a negative rating appears on a Web site, and, if the author's name is known, physicians can use the signed waivers to get the sites to remove offending opinion.