The "I'm not dead yet" Administrator.
Join Date: May 2002
So, it's a grey area. It's not illegal to give medical advice if you are not a Dr. It IS illegal to prescribe medication, make a diagnosis if you are not a Dr.
However, telling someone to give an over the counter anti diahrrea medicine is not illegal. At all. Unless said person says, "your dog has blankly blank disease and I am going to fax you an RX for blanky blank medicine". However, and here come grey,
If you are a Dr., and have set up an online website, take an email, discuss the dogs problem and then RX an item. That is actually legal. To have a legal client/patient/dr relationship, ceryain things must be met. And that would actually meet them, if the Dr is available to follow the case after RX the meds.
Any person can legally say, " when my pup had loose stool, I gave them pepto, fixed them right up" and that is not illegal.
Now, more grey area, as a veterinary technician, I am held to different standards, because my education is different. Same as EMT and paramedics. We CANNOT go outside the scope of our trAining legally. So, how does this affect this argument.... A person is choking, the Heimlich does not work, person passes out. A total civilian would generally not be held liable if he got a knife and did s trach. A trained EMT or Medic would be fired and prosecuted for going above their scope of knowledge. The total civi would be covered under the "Good Samaritan" law. (Very extreme example, for examples sake)
Now that law is not a blanket law. But it protects those trying to help from being sued for hurting a patient while trying to help. Breaking ribs is common during CPR. This protects citizens from being blamed for trying to help. Those broken ribs can puncture a lung and kill a patient.
The more training you have, the more responsible you are for what you do. Someone showing off their CPR cert card, needs to do CPR correctly, or they can be held liable.
But on an Internet forum. Any schmuck can give medical advice, as long as they are not pretending to be a Dr, making a diagnosis and prescribing a medicine.
"So that others may live"
Hannah vom Steffenhaus, BH, Wilderness SAR
Eisenhower v.d Polizei "Ike" Wilderness SAR, CGC
B'Lena z. Treuenhanden
Nixon vom Banach, RATN
Phoster, FEMA USAR(Labrador)
Ch. Pennywise Sticky Wicket(Dandie Dinmont Terrier)