Why You Shouldn’t Ask For/Give Legal Or Medical Advice

Standard Disclaimers:

I am not a medical health professional and any comments I post are not intended, nor should they be construed, as medical advice. If you believe you are experiencing a medical emergency, dial 911 (where applicable) or contact proper emergency service personnel.

I am not an attorney and any comments I post are not intended, nor should they be construed, as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please consult a legal expert who is familiar with the area of legal expertise you need.

As somebody who belongs to numerous Facebook groups that involve a diversity of topics: bipolar, mental health, disability/differently abled, specific medical conditions, authors/writers to name a few. What’s common in pretty much of all the groups is asking for and giving medical or legal advice. I follow a couple of blogs who are written by attorneys. They always make it clear the information they provide is not intended as legal advice. I follow some medical providers and most give similar disclaimers about the information isn’t medical advice.

I have worked for several mental health agencies over the years and the one key take-away is you don’t give any sort of medical advice to somebody who is not your patient or client. Yet, on Facebook, I routinely see people who claim to be doctors, nurses, or other medical professionals giving advice to other group members. That’s a lawsuit and ethics violation in the making. When I worked for COMCARE https://www.sedgwickcounty.org/comcare/, they made the same point about not giving advice to someone who isn’t your client and explained why. Aside from potential legal and ethical issues, you don’t know the person and they could have easily, accidentally or intentionally, left out important factors that could make any advice you give dangerous, potentially life-threatening or fatal. I also worked for several federal agencies and while they weren’t medical in nature, I was always taught to be able to cite chapter and verse (rule, regulation, law, etc.), so to speak, when giving a customer an answer and not give my opinion or interpretation of said rule, regulation, or law.

I may give how a particular medicine affected me in a Facebook group or refer to what’s on the Copyright Office website for copyright issues, but I make it clear you need to check with your medical professional for questions of a medical nature. For legal issues, you should check with an attorney experienced in the type of legal question you want answered. For example, don’t go to a medical liability lawyer if you have a question about copyright. A wise attorney would say that’s not my area of expertise and refer you to look for a copyright lawyer.

To throw some DNA in the mix for medicine-related questions, your DNA is going to play a primary role in how well a medicine works or doesn’t work for you.However, you need to realize that very few medicines have been fully tested to see how well or poorly they will respond to an individual’s DNA. I volunteered for a DNA test that looked at bipolar medicines and DNA to see how my DNA could affect different types of bipolar medicines. In some cases, it was spot on; in others, nowhere near close. That means the current DNA testing is not even close to being a perfect indication at this point in time. It may get you somewhat closer than simply giving you different drugs without DNA testing.

On top of the above warnings, there is NO guarantee a person on Facebook or other social media claiming to be a lawyer or medical provider really is one. A nickname for Mom was “Doctor Mom” as she was pretty good at dealing with minor emergencies and medical situations, but she also knew when it was time to take us to the doctor. Mom was an LPN so she had a fair amount of medical training. She also had the advantage of knowing our medical history since she was usually the one who took us to the doctor and heard what the doctor said to do.


About Wichita Genealogist

Originally from Gulfport, Mississippi. Live in Wichita, Kansas now. I suffer Bipolar I, ultra-ultra rapid cycling, mixed episodes. Blog on a variety of topics - genealogy, DNA, mental health, among others. Let's collaborateDealspotr.com
This entry was posted in Differently Abled, DNA, Mental Health, Social Media and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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