I’ve been pretty direct lately about the medical gag orders I blogged about last week, but I’m not going to stop talking about this issue. Part of our job at Angie’s List is to sound alarms when bad things are happening. This trend of trying to silence doctor reviews
is wrong, and I’m hoping to stop it before it becomes common practice.
Some people may have already – and unknowingly – signed away their rights.
Some of the doctors who want their patients to sign these gag orders say they’re mutual privacy agreements and imply that they’re going to protect you if you agree to protect them by never talking about the care you receive. Some put these agreements in a sheaf of papers, so it’s just one of many that you sign when you first go to a doctor as a new patient.
No one should have to choose between good health care and their right to free speech. And if someone wants you to sign away that right, he or she should do so openly.
Your doctors should be prepared to explain just why they don’t trust enough in the care you’re about to receive that they want to stop you from talking about it.
My advice: Walk away from any doctor who tries to silence you. There are plenty of good doctors out there who provide good service without stifling your free speech. If you have signed one of these forms and aren’t sure what to do, go talk to your doctors. Find out what your options are from them, first.
In the next few weeks, we’ll be identifying the doctors who are rated on Angie’s List who we know are requiring these waivers. It’s your decision whether you use them or not – but we think you need to know – going in – what you’re up against.
I explained why Angie’s List is against the waivers on Good Morning America
yesterday. Check it out if you’re interested in seeing more.