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View Diary: NY Times mea culpa (328 comments)

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  •  don't forget your doctor (none)
    The health care arena has been well up in arms for the past few years blatting about how information from the Internet will "harm" patients.

    A discussion list that I belong to has debated the issue of 'quality' information to death and back, and members of the list have tried to gather data on incidents in which patients were harmed by bad Internet info (quack cures and the like).

    So far, the sky hasn't fallen as was predicted. In fact, the rise of discussion lists that allow people to connect with other patients and talk freely about 'cures' and offer advice to each other tend to keep them safe and give them more ammunition to carry when they talk to their own doctors. (I shamed one of my docs into learning how to do a test she'd neglected to pick up on with a practice guideline from the Internet.)

    As usual, it is the political and social realities (for example, financial barriers that keep people from gaining access to health care) that are far and away more harmful than something that gives people power to make their own decisions.

    It isn't the Internet that the professor fears. It's the loss of his own little postage-stamp square of turf over which he has power.

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