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Calls Grow to Discipline Doctors Spreading Virus Misinformation Online

The New York Times tells the story of an Indiana physician spreading misinformation about the pandemic.
Public health officials say statements like his have contributed to America’s vaccine hesitancy and resistance to mask-wearing, exacerbating the pandemic.
His videos “have amassed nearly 100 million likes and shares on Facebook, 6.2 million views on Twitter, at least 2.8 million views on YouTube and over 940,000 video views on Instagram.”

His talk’s popularity points to one of the more striking paradoxes of the pandemic. Even as many doctors fight to save the lives of people sick with Covid-19, a tiny number of their medical peers have had an outsize influence at propelling false and misleading information about the virus and vaccines.

Now there is a growing call among medical groups to discipline physicians spreading incorrect information. The Federation of State Medical Boards, which represents the groups that license and discipline doctors, recommended last month that states consider action against doctors who share false medical claims, including suspending or revoking medical licenses. The American Medical Association says spreading misinformation violates the code of ethics that licensed doctors agree to follow.

“When a doctor speaks, people pay attention,” said Dr. Humayun Chaudhry, president of the Federation of State Medical Boards. “The title of being a physician lends credibility to what people say to the general public. That’s why it is so important that these doctors don’t spread misinformation.”


Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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