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date: 11 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article explores the ethical and legal issues involved in the use of social media to make end-of-life decisions. After providing an overview of social media such as online forums, virtual worlds, blogs, and social network sites, it considers the many different ways that social media might play a role in medical decision making. It then looks at the current legal framework for surrogate decision making and the concerns arising from the use of social media in such an endeavor. The article concludes by stressing the role of clinicians and ethics committees in helping surrogates navigate the complexities of medical decision making in the Internet age.

Keywords: social media, end-of-life decision, online, virtual worlds, social network sites, blogs, online forums, medical decision making, surrogate, Internet

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