The Internet and Medicine
The Internet is undoubtedlyone of the main developements of the XXth century – with profound implications for all the domains of activity. Medicine has also ”taken advantage” of the opportunities provided by the Internet – as information plays an essential role in medicine.
It is useless to expand now on the huge benefit medicine got from the existence and developement of the Internet – however I wish to draw attention to a potential risk, which the well-informed people are probably already aware of – but which remains unknown to most of the people who sail on the internet and who do NOT have in-depth medical knowledge.
The risk I wish to write about is posed by the possibility that certain information – presented as an informational resource – might contain ”bits of truth”. These ”bits of truth” – often perfectly presented from a medical point of view – can lead to wrong conclusions because a layman can be very easily mislead – precisely for lack of knowledge necessary for a broad view on the described phenomenon.
This information with „bits of truth” has several causes:
- There is a terrible amount of information presented with the sole purpose of advertising products or services (more or less medical).
HOW CAN WE AVOID REACHING WRONG CONCLUSIONS:
Try the following easy steps:
2.Verify the site on which the information appears – or better said - who is ”behind” the screen – there are scientific sites, whose authority in a field cannot be questioned, but there are also extremely numerous pseudoscientific sites; checking them is easy: you click ”about us” and everything will get clear right off;
3.Ask yourselves: ”Who is the target audience of the information I am reading?” – whether it is intended for people with medical knowledge at your level.
4.Ask yourselves: ”For what purpose was the information written?” or – ”What are they trying to sell?” – or – ”What is the product that is being advertised?”.
There are obviously many sites which live on commercials – and the ADVERTISEMENT itself IS NOT BAD – however THE MEDICAL ADVERTISEMENT becomes HARMFUL when it is extremely aggressive and tries to persuade a person or a potential patient with regard to certain benefits of various products or services – in the absence of a previous medical consultation.
Pay close attention to the products which are sold under the banner: ”the X product is available without a medical prescription – in case of unpleasant side-effects check with your physician or pharmacist....”
In my opinion this should go a bit different: the X product is available without a medical prescription – in order to avoid the manifestation of unpleasant side-effects, check first with your physician or the pharmacist.
It is possible that, at some point, advertisements for products or services appear on this site too – but I shall try to approve only of those medical adverts which present themselves as a mere informational resource and remember:
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