A Dutch surgeon who was suspended due to medical negligence has won a case against Google to remove any search results about her case.
After initially being suspended for poor postoperative care, the surgeon appealed the ruling – and it was changed to a conditional suspension.
She was allowed to continue practising, but Google’s results continued to link her to a website that contained an “unofficial blacklist,” which prospective patients had found and discussed online.
The district court of Amsterdam has ruled that while the information on the website relevant to the 2014 incident was correct, the name of the website indicated that she was not suitable to treat people as a doctor – a claim not supported by the disciplinary panel’s ruling.
“There is a medical disciplinary panel but Google have been the judge until now,” said the surgeon’s lawyer.
“They have decided whether to take a page down – and why do they have that position?”
“The disciplinary committee is not meant to be about punishment. It is meant to be correcting the doctor’s mistake so they can do the job next time.”