FROM HONCode WEBSITE:
The Health on the Net Foundation Code of Conduct (HONcode)
for medical and health Web sites addresses one of Internet's main healthcare issues: the reliability and credibility of information.
The Internet has become one of the most widely-used communication
media. With the availability of Web server software, anyone can set up a Web site and publish any kind of data which is then
accessible to all.
The problem is therefore no longer finding information
but assessing the credibility of the publisher as well as the relevance and accuracy of a document retrieved from the Net.
In many cases, a given Web site provides no appropriate
documentation regarding the scientific design of a medical study, nor are studies made available that support given claims.
The Health On the Net Foundation has elaborated the Code
of Conduct to help standardise the reliability of medical and health information available on the World-Wide Web.
The HONcode is not an award system, nor does it intend
to rate the quality of the information provided by a Web site. It only defines a set of rules to:
- hold Web site developers
to basic ethical standards in the presentation of information;
- help make sure readers always know the source and the
purpose of the data they are reading.