Principles of assistance

Health promotion

Originally published September 2008 / Reviewed August 2013

The following outlines the CMPA's principles of assistance for members who are involved in health promotion activities.

Health promotion is an important part of a physician's medical professional work. Physicians may educate their patients and the general public about good health habits through various activities and modes of communication. For example, health promotion may include a family physician speaking to school children about the hazards of smoking, a cardiologist publishing an article about lipid reduction, or a dermatologist helping raise public awareness in a national campaign about the risks of excessive UV exposure.

The CMPA will assist

Generally, the CMPA assists members who encounter medical-legal difficulty arising in Canada as a result of their participation in health promotion activities that reasonably fall within their medical professional work.

This generally includes assistance for medical-legal difficulty arising from any method of communication of health promotion information and to any type of audience (e.g. medical and non-medical).

Assistance is generally available whether or not the member received a financial benefit for participating in the health promotion activity.

The CMPA will not assist

Where a medical-legal difficulty is related to the promotion of a particular product or service, the member will not generally be eligible for CMPA assistance.

Website terms of use

Publishing information on the Internet crosses international boundaries and could result in legal actions being brought outside of Canada, particularly in the United States. The Association will not generally provide assistance to members who encounter medical-legal difficulty arising from the publication of information to a non-medical audience, where the matter is brought outside of Canada.

Members who communicate health information to a non-medical audience via a website should include a Terms of Use Agreement (including a disclaimer) on the website to advise users that the information is intended for residents of Canada. The CMPA recommends that members use the Terms of Use Agreement [PDF] template provided by the CMPA.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this learning material is for general educational purposes only and is not intended to provide specific professional medical or legal advice, nor to constitute a "standard of care" for Canadian healthcare professionals. The use of CMPA learning resources is subject to the foregoing as well as the CMPA's Terms of Use.