According to Stathis Papaioannou:
> Given that even in case (c) doctors were completely wrong, the way we test 
> new treatments now is more stringent. However, evidence is still evidence, 
> including evidence of past failures from medical history, which must be 
> included in any risk/benefit analysis. You can criticise someone for making a 
> decision without fair consideration of all the evidence, but you can't
> criticise him if he does.

Actually we can and often do.  The question is one of insight into
one's own ignorance.  Suppose a child is run over by a car which
is driven at high speed through a residential neighborhood.  The
question of the driver's guilt isn't determined by his knowledge
or ignorance that the child was about to run into the street, but
by his lack of insight and prudent adaptation to his own ignorance
of same.  In this case prudent adaptation = driving at a safe speed.

Medicine is not like astronomy. Given the self-healing properties
of adaptive systems, doing nothing is often the best course of
"action."  The precautionary principle applies.  

The human mind, especially, is capable of "healing" itself (i.e.
finding a new stable equilibrium) in most circumstances without the
aid or hinderance of drugs or lobotomies or electroshock or drilling
holes in the skull to release demons.  Of course it often takes
time and a change of environment, but what's the alternative?  To
chemically or physically intervene in a self-organizing neural
system is like trying to program a computer with a soldering iron,
based on the observation that computer programs run on electricity.

Ignorance is unavoidable.  The question is whether one adapts to one's
own ignorance so as to do no harm.


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