Angry Doctor

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Good for what ails you! 3

angry mum: I saw on the news just now about this old man in Taiwan with a chronic disease who was told by his doctor that he had to take his medicines every day 'till the day you die'.

angry doc: Uh-huh.

angry mum: Well, apparently he felt it was all so futile and he got so depressed that he refused to eat for three days.

angry doc: He was probably depressed to start with... Then what happened?

angry mum: His family brought him to see another doctor, who told him that that was no reason to be depressed since he has to eat every day 'till the day you die' too. He got better right after that; goes to show the power of positive thinking...

angry doc: Well, I tell my patients they have to take their meds every day till the day they die too, but that that day may come later if they stuck to their meds.


angry mum: Why don't you just tell them they will live longer if they take the meds?

angry doc: Er... because the meds don't guarantee they live longer, they just improve their odds of living longer.

angry mum: Yes, but they don't have to know that. If they died three months afterwards you can just tell the family he would have died a month earlier if he had not taken the meds.

angry doc: Have you been reading Mr Wang's blog?

11 Comments:

  • what you can't proof does not equate to not existing. While I understand the importance of evidence based medicine I thought it would be good once in awhile to be more open to hypothesis that are not proven :)

    By Blogger palmist, At July 12, 2007 3:20 am  

  • palmist said...

    what you can't proof does not equate to not existing.

    This is true. But it should be for the believers to provide the evidence and not for the sceptics to disprove it. Suppose I tell you there are gnomes living at the bottom of my garden. Then I add, "Prove that I don't have gnomes in my garden. If you can't prove it then gnomes could in fact exist and are living in my garden."

    How would you respond?

    While I understand the importance of evidence based medicine I thought it would be good once in awhile to be more open to hypothesis that are not proven :)

    If you are open to theories or hypothesis without evidence then you are credulous. Extending your logic we should accept anything without evidence.

    Where do *you* draw the line to reject or accept new ideas and theories without evidence?

    Do let me know.

    PZ

    By Blogger PZ, At July 12, 2007 2:06 pm  

  • "This is true. But it should be for the believers to provide the evidence and not for the sceptics to disprove it. Suppose I tell you there are gnomes living at the bottom of my garden. Then I add, "Prove that I don't have gnomes in my garden. If you can't prove it then gnomes could in fact exist and are living in my garden."

    How would you respond?"


    Actually I am not asking angrydr to commit to a yes or no. More like a maybe possible. If I trust that friend who has seen the gnome. I would think that there is a possiblity that it is true. I would not say it for a fact that it is true but I do not need to exclude the possibility that it can be true. I am ok with reserving my judgment until we have science to understand certain phenomena.

    "If you are open to theories or hypothesis without evidence then you are credulous. Extending your logic we should accept anything without evidence.

    Where do *you* draw the line to reject or accept new ideas and theories without evidence?

    Do let me know."

    Again I am not asking for a commitment on true or false yes and no. For someone to claim something, there must be something in their experience that tell them it can be that way. No one believes in something without foundation. Whether the reasoning is erroneous is another matter althogether. I look at it from a possibility point of view and not a right or wrong. What was held as truth in the pass might no longer be true in the future because we began to discover and learn more about humans and earth.

    Somehow I feel that our different views are more of how we process data. Using MBTI, you are probably a more sensing individual and I am more intuitive in my thought processes. Both ways of thinking I guess have their advantages and disadvantages. :)

    palmist

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At July 13, 2007 4:31 pm  

  • Palmist replied:

    If I trust that friend who has seen the gnome. I would think that there is a possiblity that it is true.

    So you believe there is the possibility that gnomes actually exist because a trusted friend told you so? Wow.

    I had thought that gnomes, green goblins and elves were mythical creatures to be found in childrens' storybooks and fables. Silly me.:-)

    I am ok with reserving my judgment until we have science to understand certain phenomena.

    What has science got to do fairytales and fables of gnomes, unicorns and such?

    I look at it from a possibility point of view and not a right or wrong. What was held as truth in the pass might no longer be true in the future because we began to discover and learn more about humans and earth.

    So you make no distinction between the real world around us and and the world of fairytales? And you are still open to the possibility that one day science will discover these elusive elves and gnomes? Any idea where science should look? In the outback of Australia or the Peruvian highlands of Machu Picchu?

    Double wow!

    Somehow I feel that our different views are more of how we process data.

    I agree. It would appear I need hard data to support my theories and evidently you don't require any.

    Be careful that you don't be so credulous and have such an open mind that your brain falls out. :-)

    PZ

    By Blogger PZ, At July 14, 2007 12:32 am  

  • "So you believe there is the possibility that gnomes actually exist because a trusted friend told you so? Wow."

    I think you do not understand the distinction between possibility and and fact.

    "I had thought that gnomes, green goblins and elves were mythical creatures to be found in childrens' storybooks and fables. Silly me.:-)"

    You are giving me a hypothetical scenario and you want to extrapolate it into reality? I think you are pretty confused.

    "What has science got to do fairytales and fables of gnomes, unicorns and such?"

    I didn't say science has anything to do with fairytales. When have I ever mentioned in my postings about fairytales? Most of the time angry dr talks about alternative medicine and TCM. I am just saying he should be more open and not jump to conclusions too quickly just because there is no control trials on the subject.

    Besides science may have an explanation for unicorns and elves. They could just be a genetic mutation specific to certain regions due to environment factors. If you are not open to their existences you wouldn't even bother to find out.

    "So you make no distinction between the real world around us and and the world of fairytales? And you are still open to the possibility that one day science will discover these elusive elves and gnomes? Any idea where science should look? In the outback of Australia or the Peruvian highlands of Machu Picchu?

    Double wow!"

    May I suggest that you are the one who brought a hypothetical situation into my reality. Besides my points has never been about gnomes and fairy tales. My point is being open to other forms of therapy and not to jump to conclusion unless proven otherwise.

    In this post there is nothing wrong with being positive. In fact , if you can help a patient be positive, even if he dies at least he had a positive end. Or course I am not suggesting lying to the patient. I believe it is the doctors duty to inform the patient of the situation/prognosis so that he can make informed decisions.

    By Blogger palmist, At July 15, 2007 1:44 am  

  • When have I ever mentioned in my postings about fairytales?

    You did not, however, when I brought up the hypothetical existence of gnomes, you claim you would believe if it came from a trusted friend. This strikes me that you are such a credulous person.

    The normal response for most people would be that your friend is probably joking and if not, then he is hallucinating or in need of psychiatric help.

    Besides science may have an explanation for unicorns and elves.

    This statement clearly means that *you* do believe that science could possibly prove the existence of mythical creatures from fairy tales. The normal response is to reject it outright unless there was some real evidence to support this. Here again you are reaffirming the extreme level of your credulousness.

    In this post there is nothing wrong with being positive.

    But is it really being positive? I contend that your *open-minded* approach is in reality closed minded and actually quite destructive.

    An open mind is open to all ideas, but it must be open to the possibility that the idea could be true or false. It is not closed-minded to reject claims that make no sense.

    If you can’t accept the possibility that an idea might be false, then in reality, you are closed minded.

    My point is being open to other forms of therapy and not to jump to conclusion unless proven otherwise.

    The "have an open mind" crowd are more than just logically wrong. Their way of thinking is actually destructive to good ideas.

    Bad ideas should be discarded so that the good can flourish.

    As an analogy you could be saying, "Don't reject (say) bloodletting and let's be open to other forms of therapy and not to jump to conclusion unless proven otherwise."

    But by focusing uncritically on bloodletting, germ theory would never have been discovered.

    If your sort of thinking had prevailed we would still be doing bloodletting for anything from cancer to gastric pains.

    Medical advance is where it is today because Germ theory and others were discovered by sceptical scientists who insisted on evidence, not by new-agers with open minds.

    PZ

    By Blogger PZ, At July 15, 2007 12:18 pm  

  • You did not, however, when I brought up the hypothetical existence of gnomes, you claim you would believe if it came from a trusted friend. This strikes me that you are such a credulous person.

    I think I must really polish up my communication. Where did I go wrong. I said there is a possibility that it is true, I didn't say it is true. Did I really do such a bad job? It means that I consider that as a possibility out of all the other possibilities.

    The normal response for most people would be that your friend is probably joking and if not, then he is hallucinating or in need of psychiatric help.

    That shows you are not open to consider that it might be true. You choose the obvious to be believe.

    This statement clearly means that *you* do believe that science could possibly prove the existence of mythical creatures from fairy tales. The normal response is to reject it outright unless there was some real evidence to support this. Here again you are reaffirming the extreme level of your credulousness.

    Contrary to what you've suggested I am open to the idea but it does not have to be a fact. It is that difficult for you to understand what possibility is? If you can only think the normal way where do you get new discoveries????? You must be willing to consider things that was never thought possible and test those thoughts. Every revolutionary idea was not normal during their time.

    An open mind is open to all ideas, but it must be open to the possibility that the idea could be true or false. It is not closed-minded to reject claims that make no sense.

    Isn't that what I've been trying to tell you. I said possibility. You reject claims that makes no sense but not proven impossible. Using our common sense helps us streamline and process information faster but it does not make you an open minded person.

    If you can’t accept the possibility that an idea might be false, then in reality, you are closed minded.

    I am open to the idea that it might be false but I am also open that gnomes might exist that's all. I am not saying it is a fact that gnome exist because my friend says so. What is so difficult to understand? Why are you putting words into my mouth? On the contrary you are not open to the suggestion that gnomes can in fact exist which makes you closed minded according to your definition.

    The "have an open mind" crowd are more than just logically wrong. Their way of thinking is actually destructive to good ideas.

    Logic has it's flaws. There are many things that are logical but untrue. Google 'errors in logic', you'll probably find some articles on it.

    I also fail to understand how being open to ideas can be destructive for good ideas. Imagine if man didn't think they could fly, would we be jetting around in planes?

    Medical advance is where it is today because Germ theory and others were discovered by sceptical scientists who insisted on evidence, not by new-agers with open minds.

    yet those bloodletting new agers managed to bring my grandmother back from a human vegetable to normal when your skeptical scientist has given up hope. Maybe the better question to ask is how he did it instead of rejecting everything just because it doesn't follow a certain logic you are accustom to.

    BTW my grandmother lost all her memory and basically bed ridden. Lying in bed and just existing. Tell me would you even hope or try if someone tells you there is an untested form of therapy??

    By Blogger palmist, At July 18, 2007 1:43 am  

  • palmist said...

    That shows you are not open to consider that it might be true.

    When someone says green goblins and gnomes from Aesop's Fables live in his backyard, yes I don't believe him because I am not a naive, credulous person like you obviously are. Until he provides real evidence to support his claims, I reserve the right to think him quite mad.

    You reject claims that makes no sense but not proven impossible.

    In other words - you are asking - 'How do you prove the non-existence of something, say, green goblins? Can you? If you cannot then they might and can in fact exist!"

    This is a form of circular reasoning and quite illogical.

    Besides, I have good, rational reasons to reject the existence of gnomes and green goblins because they are mythical creatures in fairy tales. Your choosing to believe that they *might* exist in the name of being open minded is stretching credulousness to a ridiculous extreme and quite irrational.

    Your approach to accepting ideas *uncritically* and not reject something when there is no reason to believe means you are in free fall - you will believe in anything.

    As the saying goes, "Don't be so open minded that your brain falls out."

    BTW my grandmother lost all her memory and basically bed ridden. Lying in bed and just existing. Tell me would you even hope or try if someone tells you there is an untested form of therapy??

    Medical charlatans - dumb quacks, deluded quacks and dishonest quacks make a living out of credulous and desperate people.

    Your way of thinking just makes it too easy for them.

    I know of an enchanted Fairy Princess who lives in Bukit Timah Hill who can cure all illness by doing a mystic dance with a special cow dung smeared on your face. She has taught me that dance and where to get that special cow dung.

    For a small fee of $38,000 I can impart that skill to you to help your grandma.

    Do you believe?

    If the answer is yes, let's meet at the Hilton lobby tomorrow at noon.

    If not, you must be closed minded and not open to the infinite possibilities of this universe.

    PZ

    By Blogger PZ, At July 18, 2007 11:31 am  

  • I reserve the right to think him quite mad.

    Yes you do have the right to do so. I am not stopping you. My personal opinion you are not a very open person. Guess my opinion doesn't really matter anyway.

    Your approach to accepting ideas *uncritically* and not reject something when there is no reason to believe means you are in free fall - you will believe in anything.

    Actually I think you do not understand me. I say I will consider the possibility and will be willing to investigate to see if it is true. For you it will never be looked into at all because to you it is impossible. I have to explain myself another time here. You keep thinking I accept everything just because I think that it is possible.

    And you keep talking about fairy tales which has no relevance if no one I trust actually told me about green goblins and gnomes. For your information, I do not believe in fairy tale creatures because the first prerequisite hasn't been fulfilled. I would actually appreciate if you talk about therapies instead. It makes the discussion more relevant.

    There are charlatans all over but to treat all as charlatans before being proven guilty just shows that you are not open to certain form of therapy. I am speaking with a fact that my grandmother did in fact recover when the doctors has given up hope. If you choose to skip investigation on how the method works you lose valuable data which could have saved many others.

    This would also be my last post on this topic. I am sure we wouldn't agree on everything and I don't expect everyone to agree.

    By Blogger palmist, At July 19, 2007 12:34 am  

  • palmist said...

    Actually I think you do not understand me. I say I will consider the possibility and will be willing to investigate to see if it is true.

    Why bother to investigate the existence of MYTHical creatures even if your trusted friend says they exist?

    By definition, mythical creatures only exist in the realm of fantasies. That you are prepared to investigate a myth without evidence clearly shows your extreme gullibility and credulousness - not that you are open minded. It is NOT being closed minded to reject claims that make no sense. This is where you are confused.

    For you it will never be looked into at all because to you it is impossible.

    Yes. There is a reason we call them mythical creatures. They DON't exist. And if someone says they do, even a trusted friend, I would ask for the evidence before I believe. You instead will consider that they *might* exist and investigate. This is not being open minded but extremely credulous if not stupid.

    And you keep talking about fairy tales which has no relevance if no one I trust actually told me about green goblins and gnomes.

    I have used an extreme example of mythical creatures to prove a point. That you would not reject these creatures of fantasy outright all because of your friend's say so reaffirms your extreme gullibility and credulousness.

    If you are truly *open minded* to ALL possibilities as you say, then please meet me tomorrow at the Hilton lobby at noon. I will book a a room to teach you that enchanted dance with special cow dung smeared on your face which can cure all manner off illness and disease. And don't forget to bring along your cheque book.

    If you don't accept my claim to be true and investigate then you are closed minded.

    PZ

    By Blogger PZ, At July 19, 2007 9:37 am  

  • So, I don't actually suppose it will have effect.
    look 8 | superb 7 | look 6 nice 8 | also 9 | check check check 5 | this 3

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At December 30, 2012 10:17 pm  

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