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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Company withdraws contracts controlling online comments by patients

The move comes after a complaint alleged that Medical Justice's business practices are unethical.

By ALICIA GALLEGOS, amednews staff. Posted Jan. 2, 2012.

Medical Justice Inc. is retiring its "vaccine against libel," a set of contracts providing authority to doctors over online comments posted by patients.

The contracts' demise follows a complaint made to the Federal Trade Commission alleging that Medical Justice is engaging in unethical business practices. A dentist is being sued for using one of the agreements.

The complaint and the lawsuit were filed on Nov. 29, 2011.

A day later, Medical Justice announced it will end its use of the contracts, said neurosurgeon Jeff Segal, MD, CEO and founder of Medical Justice. The company has informed its 3,000 physician and dentist members that the contracts are retired. Medical Justice recommends that doctors use its latest online tool -- the eMerit system -- to combat false posts and protect their reputations. But Dr. Segal said members are "free to do what they want to do," which includes continuing to use the contracts if they see fit. He said the company has not suggested that doctors call their patients to inform them of the contracts' retirement.

The entire story can be read here.