Social media is characterized by online spaces for rapid communication, advertising, professional development, and advocacy, and these platforms have revolutionized the way we interact with people and our culture. In plastic surgery, platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram are especially attractive for practice promotion and instantaneous connection with potential patients. However, considerable risks and ethical dilemmas lie in wait for the plastic surgeon who attempts to use patient photographs and videos for advertising. It is critical for plastic surgeons who use patient images for this purpose to facilitate fully informed consent, consider both context of use and the patient-physician power differential, and put patients’ interests ahead of their own.
Bennett, K. G., & Vercler, C. J. (2018). When is posting about patients on social media unethical “medutainment”? AMA Journal of Ethics, 20(4), 328–335. https://doi.org/10.1001/journalofethics.2018.20.4.ecas1-1804