AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Journal of Ethics Header

AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Virtual Mentor. December 1999, Volume 1, Number 4.

Ethics Poll

Health Information on the Web

The Ethics Poll is a snapshot of the opinions of interested readers.

Recent controversies surrounding advertisements on health information Web sites have raised concerns about financial conflicts of interest, implied endorsement of health products/services, and the objectivity of provided information. What advertising policies should be adopted by health information Web sites?

Poll Results

What advertising policies should be adopted by health information Web sites?
23 votes recorded

Only advertisements from companies that do not provide health-related products or services should be displayed
2 Votes - 9%

Advertisements from companies that provide health-related products or services are acceptable if they are not promoting a specific product
7 Votes - 30%

Advertisements from companies that provide health-related products or services are acceptable if they do not appear with substantive health information content
4 Votes - 17%

Advertisements should not be placed on health information Web sites
5 Votes - 22%

No advertising restrictions are needed—caveat emptor
5 Votes - 22%

Poll results reflect the opinions of visitors to the site who voluntarily answer the poll questions. Those visitors do not represent a random sample of Virtual Mentor readers. The viewpoints expressed on this site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.