World Medical Association throws ethics into the telemedicine equation:
This article was originally published in Clinica
The World Medical Association is calling for legislation at national level and international agreements to tighten the conditions affecting the installation and use of telemedicine systems. In ethical guidance on the practice of telemedicine, approved at last week's general assembly (Copenhagen, Denmark, October 3-6), the WMA calls for telemedicine to "ideally be used only in cases where a prior in-person relationship existed between a patient and a physician involved in arranging or providing the telemedicine service". The idea is in line with mainstream views on e-record security, for example, but could pose limitations on the wider network-style accessibility that such systems offer. The guidance covers e-prescribing, physician registration, liability and the legal status of electronic medical records. The WMA has also condemned the commercialisation of activities supporting tissue transplantation-related activities.