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Question
Posted by: Nerd | 2007/02/22

Using info from forum

Cybershrink- I am working on a publication entitled 'Healing the Hearts of invisible faces' would it be ethical for me to use some posts from this forum, is there red tape? Do I contact the site administrator? Please assist.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I would consider that I and H24 own copyright in whatever gets posted here, and that it could not be used without our consent, and we would be very cautious about the possibilty of embarrassing posters. Whatever people post here, though they are able to be anonymous, but their words are, of course, publically exposed. Our concern would be more about HOW any material was quoted, and WHAT was said about the posters. Similarly, what is said in letters to the Agony Aunts in a newspaper or magazine, is not confidential --- it has been published publically --- but you can't reprint the words without permission from the magazine / editor.
It would be hard to claim that doctor-patient conidentiality applies to these exchanges in this medium, as the basic requirements for such a relationship do not exist here.
I think that WE within H24 can make use of such material, as happens for instance at times where a question is quoted within the general site to encourage visitors to come to and use a forum.
And if I were invited to write for an academic or similar journal, or to present a paper at a professional or similar meeting, I would consider it ethical for me to quote from some situations and messages, while protecting so far as I could the particular identity of the poster. I hope that would be acceptable to our readers and regulars, because it would be primarily writing about myself and the forum I have created, and not about the specific individuals as such.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: C | 2007/02/24

If you use anything from me, I'll kidnap your dog / cat / buttplug and torture it to near death. Then I'll plant it under your car and let you finish it off. Friendly greetings, C.

Reply to C
Posted by: Shae | 2007/02/23

Nerd, i am dead against the use of others misfortune for financial gain or self serving ends, however, should that not be your modus operandi then i would be very interested in being informed about what the objective of your study is (thesis perhaps?). If this study is meant to assist the psychological community at large in any way then perhaps as it is good intentioned it would be easier to 'stomach the thought'.

Reply to Shae
Posted by: RMC | 2007/02/23

Thank you, Anon - at least you get it? If the fact were disclosed, I would not have a problem - but byasking after the fact it is misrepresentation.

Well, at least if any of you ever watch some movie that looks exactly like your life you know it probably is now -- that Nerd did the screen play!

Jcat, reading the posts is not unethical, but using them for personal gain is - eish eish!

Reply to RMC
Posted by: anon | 2007/02/22

It would be interesting to see and read what the regulars and other posters feel about this.

Reply to anon
Posted by: Lyn | 2007/02/22

I would feel really very relunctant to post anything personal here in the future.

Reply to Lyn
Posted by: anon | 2007/02/22

If Nerd is going to make money out of publishing posts from this forum, it would be unethical. I actually think its a cheek to even suggest that. I wouldn't feel comfortable, yes our own individual cases are unique and even though it is a public forum and anyone can read it, it just wouldn't be ethical or right to have it or parts republished in another medium/media/whatever as the contributors this forum have posted here and have not given their individual agreements to how their posts would be used. People post here because they are anxious/depressed, have problems need to vent etc..

Reply to anon
Posted by: jcat | 2007/02/22

I disagree with the majority on privacy/confidentiality issues. If we say things on a public forum, they are exactly that - public. In terms of copyright though, that does belong to H24 as the site owners/facilitators. I would think that if Nerd were to contact H24 (and CS) giving more details of the publication, what it's market will be etc - if it is an ethical kind of article, they would probably allow use. Obviously, anything using what sounds like a real name couldn't be used.
As for reading the posts being unethical....eish!

Reply to jcat
Posted by: RMC | 2007/02/22

Yeah, If nerd asks I will be happy to share information in my brain, but not just to be taken without my knowledge

Reply to RMC
Posted by: J | 2007/02/22

Sorry guys, didn't know all that!
Well there you have your answer nerd!!

Reply to J
Posted by: RMC | 2007/02/22

"Confidentiality of data relating to individual patients and visitors to a medical/health Web site, including their identity, is respected by this Web site. The Web site owners undertake to honour or exceed the legal requirements of medical/health information privacy that apply in the country and state where the Web site and mirror sites are located."

from HONCODE link at bottom of page. You can go there and click on the guidelines to this if you do not understand

Reply to RMC
Posted by: RMC | 2007/02/22

If "nerd" has been reading the posts and has not revealed the intentions it is not ethical, even if it is legal.

Reply to RMC
Posted by: Joanne E | 2007/02/22

Yes they are available but nowhere does it say that what we post will be published in any place than on this forum?

Check out the privacy forum as well - it says that the doctor-patient confidentiality agreement applies, and as far as I know to even use some one or their child or whatever for case study, even anonomously there is a release form to be signed.

Plus there are some people who post under their REAL names - not knowing that they should not. I think it could harm the people here.

Reply to Joanne E
Posted by: J | 2007/02/22

I don't think it's such a huge issue using the forum posts. They are available to everyone anyway?
Violation of privacy? Why?

Anyway, let's hear what CS has to say...

Reply to J
Posted by: RMC | 2007/02/22

No it would not be ethical.

Reply to RMC
Posted by: Joanne E | 2007/02/22

I would hate for you to use some of the stuff I have posted and I am sure many people would too. Just MHO. I post stuff here under a pseudonym so that people won't know who I am, but every now and then there are really unique cases and I sure it would be a violation of privacy.

It may not be copyrighted but it is "confidential"?

Why have you been reading here? As part of your research or to get help?

Reply to Joanne E

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