Googling patients: is it ethical?

‘GOOGLING’ patients to find out more about them than what they divulged in a consultation may cross an ethical line — but experts say there are certain circumstances when seeking information about patients online is warranted.

Researchers in the US argued that Googling patients is going to become increasingly common, especially among doctors who grew up with the internet.

However, they said, a lack of guidance had left a “Google blind spot” for healthcare professionals.

Lead author on the report, geneticist and professor of medicine Maria Baker, said she