BS and Fallacies Used in Medicine

Discussion in 'Support' started by wishingluck, Jan 7, 2016.

    1. wishingluck
      No Mood

      wishingluck Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure, but probably acoustic trauma
      today I searched for 'unexplained medical symptoms' on the NHS website, there's this bit written in the article that resulted.

      ''Sometimes, there is simply no explanation and doctors can't diagnose a cause''

      I thought: ''so just because doctors can't find the cause, it means there's no explanation? The statement above implies that doctors are always able to find the cause, or that the only reason why they cannot find it, it's because there isn't one.''

      Also, SOMETIMES? I'd say MOST of the times. In the last 5 years I developed all kind of weird problems: persistent infections, pains in the chest. Have done all the tests, none of these symptoms could be explained. I am not hypochondriac and I don't imagine BS in my head. On the contrary, before all these problems developed, I haven't seen doctors for many years even when I was having problems like fevers, severe tootaches, etc.

      Once I had an infection in my finger. It was purple and swollen. I sterilized a blade and lightly incided the finger and literally squeezed the infection out. It looked like that black stuff you find in a bad apple.

      Next day, my finger was as good as new. Definitely NOT something I advice to do under ANY circumstance, but it tells you how I generally tried not to bother with doctors, unless I really had to. Not because I thought there was something wrong with them, but generally I come from a family of the old fashioned type or 'Nah, you don't need a doctor for that'.

      Conclusion: as someone said in a philosophy lecture (curiously enough): 'medicine was a very inexact art, 2000 years ago. And it's still true today'.

      That's just the way it is, unfortunately. I am not saying doctors purposefully don't have the answers, but that statement from the website made me think: 'Fallacy' (politically correct version of 'b*****t')
      • Like Like x 1
    2. dboy

      dboy Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2007 & 8/2013
      Interesting post. I wonder not just about the times that they do not know the explanation or the cure, but also about the times when they might end up causing harm due to having an incorrect/incomplete understanding. There is a programme we get occasionally on BBC4 in the UK called "Hidden Killers of the Victorian Home" where a very nice lady tells us all about the crazy things the Victorians did, like putting arsenic in wallpaper (people keeling over) or the gas lamps they had (explosions!). You watch that programme and think, wow, that was a dangerous time to be alive. It made me think though about a lot of the medical orthodoxies of today - particularly the ones that there is some reason to suspect might be damaging people. One example I've investigated a lot and written about on TT is mercury in fillings. There are other controversial areas eg. multiple vaccinations for children. I think about the number of people on TT who have had their lives irreversibly marred by something simple like ear irrigation.

      In a lot of cases the establishment will say something like "There is no evidence that that is dangerous." What they mean is that there is no incontrovertible proof that they choose to accept. The effects - if they exist - maybe do not happen immediately, or can easily be ascribed to something else. The science to clearly establish or refute cause and effect has not been done because it would be very difficult and expensive to do properly. Once upon a time there was no incontrovertible proof that arsenic in wallpaper led to illness and death. And a lot of people were ill and/or died before the orthodoxy changed.

      The problem seems to me to lie in the often unexamined assumption that the state of knowledge we have now is in some way definitive. It isn't. It is just a snapshot of a moment in time. In a hundred years maybe another nice lady (or maybe even the same one!) will be presenting a programme called "Hidden Killers of Early 21st Century Medicine," and her viewers will marvel at the crazy things the practice of medicine did to people back in the dark ages.

      None of this is news, but in the day to day we need to make assumptions in order to operate (to not be paralysed by doubt). Doctors and the whole practice of medicine are presumably the same. You either try to help people with the knowledge you have now, or you don't. What the answer to this dilemma is I'm not sure. I couldn't be a medical doctor because I'm not brave enough - never certain enough that I've got things right. I'm always aware that what I think is provisional. Unless you are some kind of pompous egomaniac this must be an incredibly difficult balancing act. I guess we just have to be grateful that doctors are there, but hope we get one who understands how imperfect her/his knowledge is and - of course - be vigilant about the things they recommend for us.
    3. linearb

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      “Doctors are men who prescribe medicines of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less, in human beings of whom they know nothing”
      - Voltaire (1694-1778)

      Clearly, this sentiment has been around for a long time. I do not necessarily think any of this is the fault of doctors, or the medical profession, per se. Our culture basically treats doctors like gods, and we have media like ER, Gray's Anatomy and House which peddle the dream that our bodies are well understood, all problems are fixable, etc. None of these things are true.

      In my experience, the best doctors are the ones who are willing to say "I don't know", "I'm going to do some research and get back to you", and similar.
      Yes, I agree with this completely.
    4. PaulBe

      PaulBe Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound, though never proven
      My experience working within the system is that our most brilliant, life-saving medicine is clever in concept but comparatively harsh and crude in application. We have not come far yet in understanding the complexity of the body. We've barely grown out of thinking of it as just a machine.
    5. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      I've been pretty lucky with my doctors, they never had problem diagnosing me.
      I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder some 7 years ago so now EVERY symptom (including tinnitus hell) has been attributed to anxiety.
      It means a lot to have peace of mind:dohanimation:

Share This Page

If you have ringing ears then you've come to the right place. We are a friendly tinnitus support board, dedicated to helping you discuss and understand what tinnitus treatments may work for you.