Lost in translation: doctors cautioned against Google Translate
Online interpreting is a risky business, defence unions say
Overcoming language barriers can be tricky, especially in a time-pressured consultation, and doctors have been known to turn to the nearest available translation service: the computer on their desks.
But the potential for error when using online services, such as Google Translate, has made medical defence organisations in the UK nervous, with them advising against the practice.
“We wouldn’t recommend that doctors rely on Google Translate, or any other translation app or online tool, as a robust means to aid diagnosis and communication with a patient,” Rob Hendry, medical director at the Medical Protection Society says in an article on the BMJ website.
“There is the potential danger that, in the event of an adverse outcome, an expert witness and the