Nautilus

Getting Googled by Your Doctor

ne day not long ago, police forcibly brought a man to the hospital after he updated his profile picture on Facebook. He was in his late 20s and had a long history of suicide attempts, a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, and a close relationship with his mental-healthcare team, which typically consists of physicians, nurses, and social workers. On the day of the incident, the team leader—the doctor who makes medical treatment decisions—reportedly stumbled on his Facebook page by accident. Since she had visited it several months earlier to keep tabs on him, his name autofilled the search box when she typed the first name of her friend, the same as the client’s. It brought up his profile picture, and it was concerning: He was holding what looked like a gun pressed to his head. The team leader thought he’d already gone through with it—other photos showed suicide letters

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Nautilus

Nautilus5 min read
Why Campaigns to Change Language Often Backfire
In the first decades of the 20th century, people around the world began succumbing to an entirely new cause of mortality. These new deaths, due to the dangers of the automobile, soon became accepted as a lamentable but normal part of modern life. A h
Nautilus7 min read
Why We’re Drawn Into Darkness: Author Robert MacFarlane on the awe and horror of subterranean places.
Robert Macfarlane grew up obsessed twith climbing mountains and nearly died on several occasions as he scaled some of the world’s high peaks. He found a safer way to indulge his alpine passions, writing about the mystique of mountains. As someone dra
Nautilus6 min readSociety
How Freedom Divides: An expert on animal societies on what sets human societies apart.
As a biologist who studies animal behavior, particularly the long-term stability of the societies of different species, our own included, I’ve traveled through diverse cultures around the world. The word I hear everywhere I go, a badge of honor to al