Why is the Board of Dietetics censoring a blogger? To answer this, I need to tell you about two characters in this story. Who will you side with? On one side is a blogger and on the other is a large organisation. At the heart of the matter is how the Healthcare sector is dealing with social media.
Drew Bowling wrote an article about Steve Cooksey (the blogger). His article deals with censorship and free speech on the internet. So, let us begin.
Steven Cooksey has type II diabetes. He took daily insulin shots to control his blood sugar level. Steve then decided to change to a no-grain/low-carbohydrate diet (Paleo Diet) which he maintains. His health improved and he setup a website (Diabetes-Warrior) to share his story. His site states that he took 4 shots a day before switching to the Paleo diet and now requires no injections. The site offers tips and his disdain for American Diabetes Association (ADA) policies and guidelines.
The ADA didn’t approve of Steve’s blog. Then in January 2012, the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition stopped him because he breached the licensing law. This means you can’t give personal diet advice, freely or for compensation, because you breach the unlicensed practice of dietetics and will be criminally charged. Applying this law seems strange considering people often blog about diabetes and diets.
Steve amended his comments and joined forces with the Institute of Justice to file a lawsuit against the State Board in the federal court. The question here is, does the government’s power to license occupations supersede one’s right to speak freely. Only time will tell.
Who you choose is your decision. The government, healthcare sector and businesses in that industry haven’t embraced social media properly. People use it to find information and treatment for health related issues by researching it or joining online communities and forums. They hate the system of guidelines because it’s not listening to them. They want their problem solved. Greater transparency and online community involvement is needed. How can governments be involved? What can the healthcare sector do to improve social media relations? The solutions are there, you only have to look.
Related and Contributing articles
- Censored Blogger: “People Need to Know the Truth” (webpronews.com)
- Institute for Justice takes case of paleo blogger charged over giving people advice on what to eat (thebovine.wordpress.com)
- It is Deathcare … not healthcare by Steve Cooksey