Docs seek gag orders to stop patients' reviews

Welcome to the Coping With Epilepsy Forums

Welcome to the Coping With Epilepsy forums - a peer support community for folks dealing (directly or indirectly) with seizure disorders. You can visit the forum page to see the list of forum nodes (categories/rooms) for topics.

Please have a look around and if you like what you see, please consider registering an account and joining the discussions. When you register an account and log in, you may enjoy additional benefits including no ads, access to members only (ie. private) forum nodes and more. Registering an account is free - you have nothing to lose!


Your Host
Reaction score
Lindsey Tanner said:
The anonymous comment on the Web site was unsparing: "Very unhelpful, arrogant," it said of a doctor. "Did not listen and cut me off, seemed much too happy to have power (and abuse it!) over suffering people." Such reviews are becoming more common as consumer ratings services like Zagat's and Angie's List expand beyond restaurants and plumbers to medical care, and some doctors are fighting back.

They're asking patients to agree to what amounts to a gag order that bars them from posting negative comments online.
...Medical Justice, is based in Greensboro, N.C. For a fee, it provides doctors with a standardized waiver agreement. Patients who sign agree not to post online comments about the doctor, "his expertise and/or treatment."

"Published comments on Web pages, blogs and/or mass correspondence, however well intended, could severely damage physician's practice," according to suggested wording the company provides.

Segal's company advises doctors to have all patients sign the agreements. If a new patient refuses, the doctor might suggest finding another doctor. Segal said he knows of no cases where longtime patients have been turned away for not signing the waivers.

Doctors are notified when a negative rating appears on a Web site, and, if the author's name is known, physicians can use the signed waivers to get the sites to remove offending opinion.

RateMd's postings are anonymous, and the site's operators say they do not know their users' identities. The operators also won't remove negative comments.

Angie's List's operators know the identities of users and warn them when they register that the site will share names with doctors if asked.

Since Segal's company began offering its service two years ago, nearly 2,000 doctors have signed up. In several instances, he said, doctors have used signed waivers to get sites to remove negative comments.

John Swapceinski, co-founder of, said that in recent months, six doctors have asked him to remove negative online comments based on patients' signed waivers. He has refused.

"They're basically forcing the patients to choose between health care and their First Amendment rights, and I really find that repulsive," Swapceinski said.

He said he's planning to post a "Wall of Shame" listing names of doctors who use patient waivers.

Docs seek gag orders to stop patients' reviews

I don't know about you, but any doctor shows me a piece of paper like that and I'm going to laugh in his face. they'd rather see us write about them to the newspaper editors? *mischievous twinkle in eyes* They must be joking...unless they dooo have something to hide?
Sounds like coersion to me,

"Sign this, because I can only be your doctor if you forfit your constitutional rights to freedom of speach. If I give you less that decent treatment, you are forbidden to tell anyone. You must give up your rights as an American to get healthcare by me."

I wouldn't laugh at the doctor, I'd organize a protest in front of his office calling in the media...
...Then I'd get an attorney versed in constitutional law and sue his sorry ass
Last edited:
Isn't it just one step ahead of what you always sign anyway? the consent form that you sign before surgery states that you have been informed of the risks of the procedure and will not hold the hospital liable if you undergo complications of the said procedure and undertake it of your own free will. if you don't sign the consent no surgery but if you do sign - no lawsuits. It's the same principle extrapolated to a lower level. No one seems to have a problem with that. Remember that by civil law , damage done by a doctor need only be "more likely than not " and not "beyond reasonable doubt". so the odds of surgeons and physicians being sued is increasing everyday. let us not forget , and i mean no offense here , that your country is filled with people who sue at the drop of a hat (hence rising costs of insurance). i live in a country where it is the opposite extreme. people don't sue , but may collect a gang of people to whup your a$$ in a dark alley. so you may have to crawl on a skateboard the rest of your life , but you won't get sued here :).
There's no way I'd ever sign anything like that ,I'd just go find another doc.
Thank you for the information. I will read my consent forms from now on.

Big Brother is here. That means the government is watching our every move through the internet. What else are they watching for that we do not know.

Thank you, Bernard, for bringing that to our attention.
Thanks for the info

OMG: are u kidding though. I mean Doctors are providing a service (most times a paid service) what makes them think that they are beyond providing good, great, awesome service to patients. What makes them so special that if we as consumers or patients don't appreciate the level of care or service being provided that we can't speak against them to other prospective patients. I mean we all have choices to some degree on how we spend our money and if the doctor is not cutting it them he/she is not cutting it. On the flip side if someone who I know or trust goes to a physician and encounters less than courteous service I wanna know on any forum necessary. Viral marketing champaigns can make or break businesses and have done so for years. Doctors should make sure that each patient/client is fully satified with the level of care prior to leaving the facility and this waiver thing would be a non issue.
Thanks so much for sharing this-The minute I'm asked to sign a waiver i'm hauling a** out of that facility and not looking back!!!!
True DrA. I used to have a friend whose dad is a doctor. He said that the only reason he had to charge as much he had to was because of the rising cost of his malpractice insurance. Kinda sad.

The doctors have to charge so much because of malpractice. However, that does not give them the right not to say what we think of their actions. They need to be responsible, then they will not get bad reviews.

drarvindr, I do not believe that you would ever get bad reviews. You care about people.
When I first found out about these sites it was to rate your teacher because a teacher of mine (he'd just graduated) asked us to use it if we were uncomfortable telling him what we liked or disliked about his teaching style.

Since then what I don't understand is why the doctors don't use it as constructive criticism. What a great way to possibly improve on ones practitioner/client relations & even oneself!
Hi epileric

I totally agree with you. They should be positive about it.
Nice Idea Doc ... but err ... umm...

I had always known about this but there's so many
"sue happy" people out there whereas it just isn't
the Medical field only.

But to Doc A's comment - his Country isn't the ONLY
Country that will do that ... and that's for sure!

I live in a country where it is the opposite extreme. People don't sue, but may collect a gang of people to whup your a$$ in a dark alley. So you may have to crawl on a skateboard the rest of your life , but you won't get sued here. :)

PS: Doc if we attempted this feat here, we will all be
wearing "Black and White" outfits, see below at least
do you think this would look good on the girls? LOL!



Top Bottom