Author Topic: Guidelines Regarding the Giving of Medical Advice  (Read 36909 times)

[Buddie]

Guidelines Regarding the Giving of Medical Advice
« on: December 08, 2010, 10:16:32 pm »
Guidelines Regarding the Giving of Medical Advice

BenzoBuddies is a mutual support community of non-medical professionals, helping those that wish to end their dependency upon benzodiazepines.

Although members are encouraged to relate their personal experiences, post options, and express opinions, it is inappropriate to urge other members into particular actions or inactions regarding their medical treatment. Although we are here to help those that wish to quit benzodiazepines, the decision to quit (or not quit) is for the individual to take in consultation with a suitably qualified medical practitioner.

By extension of the above principles, it would be inappropriate for members to attempt to 'diagnose' ailments of (or 'prescribe' treatments for) other members. Whilst it is permitted for members to discuss their wider medical problems and needs, especially as they relate to benzodiazepine use and withdrawal, it is important to understand the limitations of the BenzoBuddies community. Our focus is upon benzodiazepine withdrawal support; decisions regarding medical treatment are for individual members to take in consultation with a doctor.

Although our focus is indeed support, members are bound to have questions, will wish to discuss practical issues and problems, and share information. There is no limit upon reasonable discussion, but you should consider how your writing style might affect those reading your words. Since individuals are highly variable in how they react to benzodiazepine use and withdrawal, and some people taking benzodiazepines are more suggestible than they might be under different circumstances, you should avoid making blanket statements.

Contrast:

e.g.1 I've been a member here for some time now, and I have seen several members experience very pronounced withdrawal effects when they attempted a similar withdrawal regimen to the one suggested by your doctor. Have you discussed the possibility of tapering off more slowly?

e.g.2 Have you considered seeking the opinion of another doctor?

with:

e.g.3 Your doctor is wrong; you should taper no faster than 10% of your dose every 7 days.

e.g.4 Dump your doc - he's wrong.

Clearly, the first two examples understand the limits of what we can know, and respect the individual to determine their own health choices. The second two attempt to instruct others to follow particular actions, and would be unacceptable.

It might be appropriate, in some situations, to write in a more instructional style. Clearly, if a member is about to harm themselves (or someone else), or suggests something that would be universally considered as medically unsafe, a straight, instructional, unequivocal response is probably appropriate. Additionally, when writing about something formulaic, such as, for example, how to calculate a dose, or some other technical matter, then, of course, an instructional style is appropriate.

The purpose of these guidelines is to help members avoid unduly influencing others in decisions they should be taking for themselves in consultation with a doctor. Since our members have joined BenzoBuddies with the intention of quitting benzodiazepines, or would like more information to help them make an informed decision about future use, there really is no need to urge fellow members to end their use of benzodiazepines.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2010, 11:22:31 pm by [Buddie] »
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.