Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
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Re: dangers of self medication....

Posted by paul on June 23, 1999, at 11:03:28

In reply to Re: dangers of self medication...., posted by Elizabeth on June 22, 1999, at 22:40:27

> I tend to agree. I'd do it if I really *had* to, but I know just enough to know how much I don't know, and how bad it could be if something went wrong that I hadn't expected.
> I encourage people who want to take meds that aren't available in this country to go through their doctors. There is a way of doing this (my doctor (U.S.) has ordered Manerix from Canada), though there's a little red tape involved.

OK, aside from the dangers of self-medication, I would like to counter the argument that it is inherently flawed as a concept, even in the absence of disastrous results. I will be arguing, in part, as a "devil's advocate."

There are certainly many instances in which a person has become more informed about a particular medication or condition than his/her doctor has. Fueled by both an academic pursuit of knowledge and using the unique epistemology by which we know our own bodies/minds, we can sometimes -- and of course we are certainly not infallible -- be the best judge of what medications to take.

What about the patient who, through communicating likes and dislikes, ultimately selects the medication provided by the professional? Is this self-medication, albeit with the help of the doctor?

Doesn't our own way of knowing about our conditions -- direct, subjective experience -- confer an advantage over a professional who gains, at best, a very limited picture of us?

Sure there are problems with widespread self-medication and failing to seek professional help, but I just want to question these issues.




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