Delaware gives a unique challenge to those of us in the business of designing medical websites. Its code sanctions a practitioner who advertises in an unethical or unprofessional manner. Could there be more a mushy term than “unprofessional”? Delaware physicians must be sure to talk with their legal counsel to learn more about how to comply with Delaware’s medical marketing laws.
Delaware Board of Medical Practice
24 Del.C. § 1731
Unprofessional conduct and inability to practice medicine.(…)
(b) “Unprofessional conduct” includes but is not limited to any of the following acts or omissions: (…)
(7) Advertising of the practice of medicine or other profession or occupation regulated under this chapter in an unethical or unprofessional manner
Sample Best Practices
We’ve developed some sample best practices to help you get started discussing your medical marketing with your legal counsel in more detail. Find out if you need to take steps to avoid the following:
- Advertising in an unethical or unprofessional manner. (For guidance, check how other surgeons in your field and your local market advertise. If you or your legal counsel have any doubt about the level of professionalism of a particular marketing strategy, claim, etc., don’t move forward with it.)
- Making scientific claims that cannot be substantiated.
- Assuring a permanent cure for an incurable disease.
- Claiming professional superiority without supporting the claim with objective evidence, or using hyperbole when describing your techniques or results.
- Showing patient before and after photos without indicating that results vary and the results shown are not a guarantee.
- Showing models without clearly indicating that the photos are not of actual patients.
- Saying you are board-certified without including in any advertising the name of the board that has certified you.
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