Advertisement
The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
   
Ask the Experts About

Safe Sex and HIV PreventionSafe Sex and HIV Prevention
         
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
Recent AnswersAsk a Question
  
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary


Medical Information vs. Medical Advice

May 13, 1998

I always appreciate your tremendous work in this forum. However, I just want to make my personal suggestion on this forum. It seems to me that there are certain "patterns" in your responses and also seems there is a certain "boundary" in answers. I fully understand the reason behind it (because this forum is supposed to provide general information, not individual medical advice), but I'd like to ask you to provide a little more real life and specific advice with your readers.

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your comments. When I answer a question, I choose my wording very carefully. The "boundary" you are referring to, is the boundary between giving medical information and giving medical advice. Let me briefly review with you the difference between medical information and medical advice.

Medical information is very general in nature. It does not apply to just one person. It applies to many different people. Medical advice takes medical information, and applies that information to one specific person. Let me give you some examples that show the difference between medical information and medical advice.

An example of medical information: If a person has been diagnosed with Genital Warts, some treatment options include the use of Imiquimod, Podophyllin, Podofilox, TCA, cryotherapy, surgical removal, or in rare cases, Alpha Interferon. To see which treatment option is best for you, talk to your doctor.

An example of medical advice: In your specific case, you should use Imiquimod to treat the symptoms of Genital Warts.

Notice how medical information is very non-specific and generic, whereas medical advice tells a specific person what they personally should do. When a person has concerns regarding their personal medical problems (for example concerns about symptoms, treatment, etc.), I refer them to their doctor.

When I am answering a persons questions, I give them medical information. Because of legal issues, and because I do not know all the details of everyone's individual case (for example lab results, medical history, physical exam results, etc.), I cannot give any individual medical advice over the computer or over the phone. If a person has questions regarding their personal medical concerns, they should discuss these concerns with their doctor.

You will note that there is a disclaimer on the website specifically stating:

Please remember that this forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. Information they provide is general only, and should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. This information is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider. Experts appearing on this page are independent. They are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither The Body nor any sponsor is the publisher or speaker of their material."

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).



Previous
Concentrations of HIV in body fluids
Next
How to find a counselor

  
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

 Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS


 
Advertisement



Q&A TERMS OF USE

This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither TheBody.com nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint

Advertisement