Parents voice strong concerns about social media sharing of pediatric craniofacial patients’ images


Mother and father voice sturdy issues about social media sharing of pictures of kids present process craniofacial surgical procedure, experiences a survey research within the April problem of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgical procedure®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). The journal is printed within the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer. 

Pediatric plastic surgeons should perceive that consent and assent are essential earlier than posting affected person pictures on-line. Based mostly on our findings, we advocate in search of consent from not solely the mother and father but in addition the youngsters themselves, at ages as younger as 9 years.” 

Kenneth L. Fan, MD, senior creator of Georgetown College Hospital

The research was carried out in partnership by researchers from Georgetown and College of Michigan. Dr. Fan’s coauthors have been Samuel S. Huffman, BS, Peter T. Hetzler III, MD, MHS, Steven B. Baker, MD, DDS, and Christian J. Vercler, MD. 

Examine explores parental perceptions of posting youngsters’s pictures on-line 

Social media use has grow to be widespread in cosmetic surgery, elevating potential moral {and professional} issues. Sharing affected person pictures can play a precious function in info and schooling for plastic surgeons and different healthcare professionals, in addition to sufferers and households. 

Posting pictures of kids with craniofacial deformities poses distinctive moral challenges as a result of they present the top and face, by definition they make the kid probably identifiable. Whereas sufferers all the time have the proper to revoke permission to share pictures or different private info, pictures posted on social media depart a “everlasting on-line footprint.” 

The researchers designed an internet survey exploring mother and father’ perceptions of social media use by pediatric plastic surgeons. The nameless survey included examples of full-face footage of kids, starting from infants to preteens, who underwent craniofacial surgical procedure. All pictures had been publicly posted by surgeons on well-liked social media platforms. 

Survey questions highlighted the consent/assent course of {and professional} points raised by social media posting. Of 656 responding mother and father, six % had a toddler who had been operated on by a plastic surgeon. Mother and father overwhelmingly believed that surgeons must receive consent earlier than posting footage of kids on social media. About 90% of respondents indicated that surgeons should receive consent from mother and father earlier than sharing pictures, whatever the kid’s age. 

Social media sharing ought to ‘deal with the vulnerability of the affected person’ 

Respondents additionally believed that surgeons ought to search consent from the youngsters themselves earlier than sharing pictures. The common age at which folks thought surgeons wanted to acquire the kid’s consent was 9.65 years. Practically half of oldsters felt that surgeons must doc assent for youthful youngsters and even for infants – “even when solely to say the kid will not be sufficiently old for correct assent,” the researchers write. 

Mother and father who adopted plastic surgeons on social media have been extra prone to imagine that surgeons must doc assent from all pediatric sufferers. Forty % of oldsters felt that youngsters portrayed in footage on social media have been being exploited, no matter age. This view was extra widespread amongst mother and father with larger ranges of schooling. 

“Our research suggests {that a} sturdy majority of oldsters imagine that surgeons ought to receive written consent from mother and father earlier than posting footage of pediatric sufferers on social media,” Dr. Fan and colleagues write. They word that this discovering is in step with the ASPS Code of Ethics social media coverage, which could be discovered here

Dr. Fan and coauthors conclude: “Using social media by craniofacial plastic surgeons has the promise to positively have an effect on the sector, nevertheless it should be completed professionally and ethically with an intentional deal with the vulnerability of the affected person.” 


Journal reference:

Huffman, S. S., et al. (2023). Mother and father’ Perceptions of Social Media Use by Pediatric Plastic Surgeons. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgical procedure.

Leave A Reply