Online Support Group Terms of Service

18 October 2012
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Objectives of the Service

The Epilepsy Ireland online support group service allows people to receive confidential (within normal limits*), non-judgemental emotional & practical support from other participants who are going through similar experiences. The service is free and aims to bring people together to talk, share experiences and exchange information. The sessions are facilitated by one or more members of the Epilepsy Ireland service staff team.

Acceptance of Terms

By registering for the Epilepsy Ireland Online Support Group, you accept the terms of service outlined herein.

Eligibility to participate

Currently this service is available only to those aged 18 and over who have a diagnosis of epilepsy and who are resident within Ireland

Personal Information

Your email registration details are private. Neither online participants nor group facilitators can see your email address and you will be identified to them only by a screen name of your own choosing. For more information, see our Online Support Group Privacy Policy.

Online Support Group Ground Rules

The right to participate in Epilepsy Ireland online support groups is subject to adherence of the following meeting ground rules:

1. Respect: Participants must show respect and courtesy for all other participants and their opinions. We ask that participants not to dominate the conversation to the detriment of others. However, there is no obligation on any participant to contribute to the group or to share details of their own story they are not comfortable with. Please also bear in mind that epilepsy is a very individual condition and what works well for one person may not work well for another.

2. Confidentiality (within the normal limits*). Participants agree to observe confidentiality in relation to what is discussed during a session. Please do not discuss any of the participants or divulge details of individual cases outside of the session.

3. Timeliness: Participants should arrive on time and stay for the full duration of the session. If you need to leave the meeting, please let us know before you log off.

4. Identifiable Information: Doctors, other health professionals and hospitals should not be mentioned by name.

5. Medications: The Online Support Groups are not itended for medical advice. Please do not offer advice to other participants on medication or treatment. Likewise, do not consider any changes to your medical treatment based on conversations within the group. Always consult your doctor about any medical issues you are concerned about.

6. Privacy: Please respect the privacy of others. Do not request diagnosis, medication or personal contact details from another participant.

7. Harrasment: We do not tolerate harassment of any kind. This includes verbal abuse of another participant, flaming, trolling, spamming, advertisements of any form, or use of malicious programs including but not limited to IRC clients, worms, bots scripts, Trojan horses or any other form of virus. We reserve the right to report people who initiate or participate in any such activity to their ISP, and terminate their access to the service indefinitely.

Breach of Ground Rules

Epilepsy Ireland facilitators reserve the right to remove you from the session without warning if they feel that you are in breach of any of the above ground rules. We reserve the right to temporarily suspend or permanently terminate a participant's registration with the service. We may also take further action such as reporting a participant to their ISP, where deemed appropriate. It is at the sole discretion of the facilitator to remove a user from the session, to suspend & their registration or to permanently ban them.

We do not wish to exclude anybody unless absolutely necessary. So if you think a facilitator has suspended or terminated your registration with the service unfairly, please contact us directly at info@epilepsy.ie.

Recording of Sessions

Transcripts of the online meetings are archived securely for review purposes by Epilepsy Ireland facilitators and management and to aid in preparation for subsequent meetings. They will be held for 2 years, after which time they will be deleted. Your identity or email details cannot be sourced from these transcripts unless the content is deemed outside the limits of confidentiality*. In the interests of security and confidentiality, participants must not print or otherwise keep a written record of the conversation of a session.

Facilitation

Each support group session is facilitated by two Epilepsy Ireland staff. The facilitators will be in contact with each other independently of the group during the session to ensure best practice.

Medical Advice

The Online Support Groups are intended to support, not for medical advice. Our facilitators are not medical professionals and cannot advise on medical queries. The service is not intended as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. For this reason always see your doctor about any symptoms or medical issues that you are concerned about. Do not make any decisions regarding medication/ treatment based on conversations that take place within the Online Support Group.

Change of Terms of Service

Epilepsy Ireland reserves the right to change these Terms of Service at any time by posting changes to this location and it is your responsibility to refer to and comply with these terms on accessing the site. Your continued use of this site after changes are posted constitutes your acceptance of these terms of service as modified.

General Terms and Conditions

As the Online Support group service is delivered through www.epilepsy.ie, your use of the service is also dependent on your acceptance of the website's terms and conditions. By registering for the service, you are deemed to also have accepted these terms and conditions.

* This means that confidentiality is guaranteed except in the following circumstances:
· Where a person has immediate plans to self harm or plans to harm others.
· Where there is information that a child is at risk of, or has in the past been subjected to, harm/ abuse/ neglect.
Our confidentiality policy is in line with best practice, and 'Children First:National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children' (Department of Children and Youth Affairs, 2011)

 

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