Docs Pay Patients to Post Surgeries on YouTube

But critics worry that payoffs skew testimonials
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2008 8:41 AM CDT

(Newser) – When her doctor offered her a $100 discount to post her Lasek surgery on YouTube, Michelle Wilder was perplexed. “I was wondering, ‘Who wants to see my surgery?’” she says. But the money talked, and now you can see Wilder, and thousands of others, go under the knife online, the New York Times reports. More and more cosmetic surgeons are rewarding patients for such exhibitionism.

But consumer advocates and medical ethicists worry that paying patients off is skewing the testimonials. “When we’re talking about a plumber, the worst that can happen is that you’ll end up with a basement full of water,” said one consumer advocate, “But when it’s about a plastic surgeon, you could spend the rest of your life as the Elephant Man.”