Facial plast Surg 1999; 15(2): 139-144
DOI: 10.1055/s-2008-1064311

© 1999 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.

Medicolegal Aspects of Imaging and Internet Communications

R. James Koch, Andrea Chavez1
  • Division of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
  • 1Stanford University Law School, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
02 June 2008 (online)


Many facial plastic surgeons have set up their own personal World Wide Web (WWW) pages with an electronic mail link to communicate with and educate prospective patients. The possible dilemma is in that these services are provided without actually meeting patients face to face. Also, despite the growing popularity of computer imaging systems, it is not clear whether the medical and legal advantages of using such a system outweigh the disadvantages. The purpose of this article is to evaluate these aspects and to provide some protective guidelines. An examination of possible causes of actions arising from computer imaging suggests that surgeons who follow a few simple guidelines, and who use computer imaging responsibly and cautiously, minimize their legal liability. Issues surrounding Internet discussion groups, posted medical advice, intellectual property, and the use of an electronic mail link are also discussed.