Scripps News reports that the internet may be a great tool for fighting medical malpractice - as long as doctors don't ask patients to sign away their rights to talk about how they were treated.

In recent years, websites that rate all aspects of a doctor's practice are becoming more popular - patients can leave reviews that cover their entire experience, from how long the waiting room wait is to the doctor's bedside manner, to whether or not the doctor is suspected of medical malpractice or negligence.

Now, however, a North Carolina organization known for fighting medical malpractice lawsuits, Medical Justice, is trying to quiet the voice of patients. The group is pushing doctors to have their patients sign "mutual privacy agreements" which would disallow them from writing about it on the internet. The agreement still allows the patients to go to the North Carolina Medical Board in case of serious medical malpractice, or to talk with friends and family about the doctor, but it prevents them from sharing what could be vital information with the greater public.

Many see this, though, as a way to keep unhappy or concerned patients quiet about bad doctors.
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