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Read Making a Killing

home / healthcare / in the media

Orange County Register
Nov 17, 1999

by Jan Norman

Huntington Beach, Calif.-Based Firm Offers Online Shopping for Surgery

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA -- You'll soon be able to put your plastic surgery out to bid on the Internet.

Health Website Medicine Online will allow a consumer to post a request for plastic surgery, vision correction or foot surgery at: www.medicineonline.com.
Doctors will respond with their credentials and price ranges for the procedure. A deal won't be binding until after a face-to-face consultation, said company spokesman Mike Sussman.

The Huntington Beach firm is seeking investors and hopes to launch the free service in February.

The transaction technically isn't an auction, but the site capitalizes on consumer awareness of auction sites like eBay.com.

Medical experts say the site raises legal, ethical and consumer protection issues.
"Medicine is not something to be auctioned off to the lowest bidder," said Huntington Beach plastic surgeon James Wells. "I see this as doing immense harm."

Online surgery bids might not fall under the jurisdiction of state regulators because patients and bidding doctors could be anywhere in the world, said John Puente, attorney for the California Medical Board.

"The public needs to be wary about any type of medical service peddled over the Internet," said Jamie Court of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.

Medicine Online co-founder Kevin Moshayedi defended the online bidding for surgery as "an education process for the consumer."

The American Medical Association and state and Orange County medical associations declined to comment on the site.




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