Is social media a matter of life or death?

We’ve all been there – having a bad day, need to vent and the closest thing to hand is unfortunately social media.

But a post on Facebook or similar could literally be the death of you now the British Medical Association (BMA) has said that patients who have little or no prospect of recovery will be assessed by their digital footprint by doctors who will decide whether or not to ‘pull the plug’.

How utterly terrifying.

According to a MailOnline news story, the BMA’s guidance has been criticised by some doctors.

Chris Keenan, partner at Humphries Kirk in Dorchester (pictured), said: “We are of the opinion that emails and social media posts should not determine a patient’s view on life or death when dealing with a life-sustaining treatment decision.

“There has been media attention recently on whether social media gives an accurate reflection of a person’s views, and in our view, it’s not appropriate to rely on a statement posted on the internet to reach a conclusion as to whether a patient wishes to live or die.

“Emails and social posts are not legally binding. However, there are two ways in which a person can legally determine their wishes with regard to life-sustaining treatment decisions. A person can choose either an Advance Decision, or a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare.

“At Humphries Kirk we can guide you as to both Advance Decisions and Lasting Powers of Attorney and ensure that there is no risk that informal, humorous or ‘tongue in cheek’ comments made on the internet can decide whether you live or die.”



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Editor in chief Suzi Dixon studied at Bournemouth university, went away for a while to work at The Daily Telegraph, then moved back to the sunny South coast for a quiet (er) life. Bournemouth News & Info is her website and she is assisted by the fabulous Fred From France in all things geeky and technical. Hire us to make your website, too, if you like.

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