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ADVANCE Perspective: Nurses

Appealing to the Masses through Social Media

Published March 12, 2012 11:13 AM by Barbara Mercer


For the second time in the past few months, social media and the Internet are lighting up as a consumer fights a denial for healthcare services by enlisting the public’s help.

In a current case, a Washington, DC-based college student started a petition on Change.org to reverse Blue Cross Blue Shield Massachusetts’ decision to deny rehabilitation coverage for his father.

In January, a petition was begun after Amelia Rivera was denied a transplant by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. A media storm erupted after the girl’s mother blogged about a meeting in which an unnamed physician told her and her husband the decision was made based on the fact that her daughter is mentally retarded.

Either one of these circumstances should be a catalyst for discussion and debate. But is that what appealing to the masses via social medial promotes? Do comments on blogs and signing online petitions get us any closer to an understanding of the complexity of any issue?

Based on recent postings, it looks like at least one of the cases above are being reconsidered. 

Is this how decisions about healthcare delivery will be made moving forward?

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