Be careful of misinformation in medical crowdfunding campaigns: Ethics center
While medical crowdfunding can give people access to treatment options that may not otherwise be available to them, they also entail risks, the Dutch Center for Ethics and Health (CEG) warned on Monday. Fundraisers may not always be completely honest about the data for the treatment or the chances of success, the CEG warned
As medical information shared on crowdfunding platforms is not always realistic and accurate, there is a risk of misinformation, the CEG said. "With a positive statement about the success rate of treatment, initiators hope to increase the chance of donations. However, this misinformation can rapidly spread among potential initiators, groups of patients, and potential donors. There is a danger that they can make choices based on incorrect information or false hopes."
The center is also concerned about the large amount of personal information shared about the beneficiary, especially if the action is on behalf of someone who can't give consent, like a child. "Medical crowdfunding campaigns also put even more emphasis on personal responsibility. This can have a negative influence on the support for the solidarity principle that is the basis of the health insurance system," the CEG said.
The CEG suggested broadening the scope of crowdfunding platforms' tasks and making them responsible for good information provision. "In this way, people can be protected against incorrect information and unrealistic expectations." The government should also monitor this type of crowdfunding campaign. "They can signal that the healthcare system is no longer functioning properly."