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Ethical Policy


The HON Foundation respects the HONcode charter that is developed for health and medical websites.

Here you can access the trust case justifying the reliability and trustworthiness of the services delivered by HON. The trust case provides an argument and refers to the evidence supporting this argument. (developped by the Department of Software Engineering Gdansk University of Technology within the frame work of the PIPS EU project)

The HON Code of Conduct, the HONcode, was created as a response to the lack of transparency of health-related information found on the Internet. HON built the HONcode based on eight ethical principles. From discussions with webmasters and editors of websites, it was seen that such a code of conduct was required and sought after by them, thus enabling them to provide quality information by following a set of basic guidelines.

The HONcode in brief

For more information on our Code of Conduct, the HONcode, and how HON conforms to this code, please see below:  
     

  1. Authority

Confirmation of compliance is seen on the following URL where a brief description of each staff member has been given :
http://www.hon.ch/Global/HONTeamPhoto.html

All information of a medical nature presented on our site http://www.healthonnet.org or http://www.hon.ch/ are selected and extracted from reliable Web sites by the HON team.
Although the contents of our site are regularly checked and updated to ensure the reliability and relevance of the information provided, the HON Foundation does not guarantee complete accuracy of medical information provided and cannot be held responsible for any adverse effect that may arise from the use of the contents of the site.

  2. Complementarity

Purpose
All information found on the site is intended to support and not to replace the existing relations between you and your attending physician.
It is always necessary to share any medical information which you may find on the Internet with your attending physician or health professional.

Mission
The mission of the site is to provide readers with access to health and medical information which is known to be accurate and trustworthy.
It also provides information about Health On the Net Foundation and the HONcode, it's initiative to standardize the quality of medical information online.

Audience
Our site is intended for:

  • The general public including patients who require information on their disease, family and friends of patients and any person interested in knowing more about a specific disease or diseases in general.
  • Health professionals including those who would like to stay in touch with their subject by regularly reading new material or those who require further knowledge on a specific subject.
  • Students including those in the field of healthcare.
  • Website editors.

  3. Confidentiality
  4. Attribution

The information provided on our site is always referenced and the origin always stated.
The date of last modification of each page (date of last update) is indicated on every page.The results of our search engines are updated on a daily basis unless otherwise specified. Although the contents of our site are regularly checked and updated to ensure the reliability and relevance of the information provided, the HON Foundation does not guarantee complete accuracy of medical information provided and cannot be held responsible for any adverse effect that may arise from the use of the contents of the site.

  5. Justification

Any information on the benefits or the performance of a given treatment, product or commercial service, will be accompanied by suitable and balanced evidence to confirm the statements made on the site, in accordance with Principle 4.
HON does not promote any product or service which you may find on sites accessed through our search engines and we encourage you to share any medical information which you may find on the Internet with your attending physician or health professional.

  6. Professionalism

All contact details for the HON Foundation have been provided on the page with the following URL: http://www.hon.ch/Global/contact.html

  7. Transparency of the financing

The Health On the Net Foundation is a non-profit organization, which offers all its services free of charge. It thus relies on the financing and sponsorship of external beneficiaries, details of which can be found on the following page:
http://www.hon.ch/Global/sponsor.html

  8. Advertising

This site does not accept or display any advertising. However, we do promote selected events of interest to the community which may be considered to be "friendly links".


Other important items

9. Law governing this Website

The access and use of this site is subjected to the legislation of the Canton and State of Geneva. The users of this Website agree to submit themselves to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of the Canton and State of Geneva, Switzerland and to waive any jurisdictional rights to such courts.

10. Disclaimer

The content provided by Health On the Net Foundation is for information purposes only and is in no way intended to be a substitute for medical consultation with a qualified professional. The Foundation encourages Internet users to be careful when using medical information. If you are unsure about your medical condition, consult a physician. Although we carefully review our content, Health On the Net Foundation cannot guarantee nor take responsibility for the medical accuracy of documents we publish, nor can HON assume any liability for the content of Web sites linked to our site. To find out more about our efforts to improve the quality of medical information on the Internet, visit our Code of Conduct (HONcode).

Though HON guarantees that all accredited sites will respect the HONcode during the period of certification, it is however not responsible for the content of any HONcode accredited site.
We urge you to apply caution and to always consult with your attending physician before using any online health information or advice.


11. Copyrights of HON website

All the information (including the design and graphics of the Web site) contained on the http://www.hon.ch/ site is copyrighted © Health On the Net Foundation, and is the property of the Foundation Health On the Net.
Material found on this site (information, text and image) may be used or distributed for non-commercial purposes under the condition that this note of Copyright remains intact in each document where HON is stated as it’s source and a link to the HON website is provided.

Please also send an email to: webmaster@healthonnet.org mentioning the use of the material of the site, http://www.healthonnet.org.

The contents of the site may not be used for commercial purposes.
Any information and images included in this site, obtained from other servers shall remain the copyright of the managers of those servers and the authors of the respective documents.

Any webmaster wanting to display the HONcode logo or certificate on a newsletter or brochure, should first submit the intended newsletter or brochure to HON. HON will then review this and will or will not grant permission, as is seen fit, for HONcode material to be used for international purposes

12. Copyrights of surveys

All the information (including the design and graphics of the Web site) contained on the http://www.HealthOnNet.org/ site is copyrighted © Health On the Net Foundation, and is the property of the Foundation Health On the Net (HON). Material found on this site (information, text and image) may be used or distributed for non-commercial purposes only under the condition that this note of Copyright remains intact in each document where HON is stated as the source and a link to the HON website is provided.

The use, reproduction, or distribution of the material of the surveys conducted by HON (information, text, image) is subject to the following restrictions:
  • request for use of any part of the surveys must be submitted to the HON at .
  • any copies or distribution must be accompanied by the following copyright notice. If in HTML, it must also feature the hypertext links as shown in this copyright notice:

    HON Surveys 1995-2011. © Health On the Net Foundation.

HON makes no warranties or representations, either expressed or implied, with respect to the results contained herein, nor to their quality, merchantability, performance or fitness for a particular purpose. In no event shall HON or its developers, directors, officers, employees or affiliates be liable for direct, incidental, indirect, special or consequential damages (including damages or loss of business profits, business interruption, loss of business information and the like) resulting from any defect in this material or its documentation or arising out of the use or inability to use this material or accompanying documentation even if HON, an authorized representative or a HON affiliate has been advised of the possibility of such damage. HON makes no representation or warranty regarding the results obtainable through use of this material. No oral or written information or advice given by HON, its dealers, distributors, agents, affiliates, developers, directors, officers or employees shall create a warranty or in any way increase the scope of this warranty.

All Rights reserved. Copyright 1995-2011

13. Copyrights of certification

The Health on the Net (HON) certificate serves as a guarantee that a website, at the date of its certification, complies with and pledges to honor the 8 principles of the HON Code of Conduct as drawn up by the HON foundation.

The responsible of the certified site commits to keep the site in compliance with the HON code principles for the duration of the certification.

Although measures such as a complaint mechanism, the biennial review and the automatic surveillance mechanisms are put in place to guarantee the compliance of the certified website with the ethical principles of HON as much as possible, incidental inaccuracies cannot be completely excluded. In no event the HON foundation and/or its partner(s) can be held liable for any damages resulting from the use or inability to use HON certified websites nor can the HON foundation and/or its partner(s) be held liable for the content of these certified websites, including, but not limited to the information of third-parties or hyperlinks accessible via HON certified websites.

The certified website is responsible for the content of its website, unless otherwise provided by law.

14. Display of friend links

The display of friend links means that the Health on the Net (HON) participates to the mentioned conference or is involved in its organisation.



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