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A Journal on Forensic Medicine
Minerva Medicolegale 2003 March;123(1):21-9
Telemedicine consultations. Medical and legal aspects
Vacchiano G., Lauro A.
Telematic services in medicine greatly improve both diagnostic and therapeutic activity as well as the organisational aspect of the profession. Their use continues to spread and they represent a new way of operating which the physician will encounter more and more frequently. These technological conquests, however, while on the one hand they point up the technical-scientific, and organisational aspect, on the other they raise numerous ethico-juridical problems of by no means negligible importance. These problems are discussed here and attention is focused on the physician-patient relationship, the protection of privacy and professional secret and on the possible hypotheses of professional responsibility linked to the use of telemedicine. Finally the need for careful use of technological innovations is stressed, and the authors insist on the commitment of the physician to respect the inalienable ethical principles of the profession and patient's rights.