The European Commission has weighed in with its
contribution to the growing body of standards and recommendations
for online health and medical information. The document contains
quality criteria for use by Member States, as well as public and
private bodies, in the development of quality initiatives for health
related web sites.
Recognizing the need to protect its citizens, as
well as the global customers of its online sector, the European
Commission has taken a clear position on the need to maintain high
standards for online health information. The report stops short,
however, of proposing an EU-wide implementation for quality criteria,
judging this to be impractical for the moment.
HON participated actively in the development of
the EU document, along with some sixty other delegations from government,
industry, medical and consumers associations and academia. The result
incorporates all eight principles of the HONcode condensed into
six points with additional emphasis on accessibility, a hotly debated
subject on both sides of the Atlantic. In effect, US Government
requirements for domestic information providers may also influence
decisions made in Europe.