Medical hoaxes - are they harmful?

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Willywizz
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Medical hoaxes - are they harmful?

Postby Willywizz » Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:30 pm

Some examples of a medical hoax meme/trend - (there are other examples in this particular trend, but I'm just posting two of the most notable ones)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/artic ... tears.html

https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/l ... 21st-58672

The meme appears to have been started by this woman who goes under the alias of ''Heidi Falconer'' as it is the earliest example I could find.

Although the persons claim to have 'Aquagenic Urticaria', the condition is not an allergy (more of a chemical reaction between water and another substance on the skin which produces an irritant) and is a skin condition only - it does not affect drinking, which is how I'm able to tell that these cases are hoaxes when they say they cannot drink water without having an allergic reaction internally (to the point they require epi pens), but they can drink [insert beverage that contains mostly water here] with no issues.

There are others such as the girl (also from the UK - it seems a grand majority of medical hoaxes stem from the UK) who faked having leukemia.

How are we to think about such hoaxes? Do you believe that they're harmless and the hoaxsters are doing this for fun and their 15 minutes of fame, or is there something darker going on here?

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Re: Medical hoaxes - are they harmful?

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Sun Jul 15, 2018 2:58 pm

If you don't have an opinion don't bother posting.
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Re: Medical hoaxes - are they harmful?

Postby Willywizz » Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:08 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:If you don't have an opinion don't bother posting.


:D

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Re: Medical hoaxes - are they harmful?

Postby Gord » Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:34 pm

I would stop reading anything from the Daily Fail, for starters.
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Re: Medical hoaxes - are they harmful?

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:23 pm

Recently an Australian woman claimed to have been cured of cancer by a special diet. She never had cancer. Her motive was to sell her secret and make lots of money. Such people are evil, because they lead genuine sufferers into rejecting the medical treatments that might actually help.

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Re: Medical hoaxes - are they harmful?

Postby landrew » Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:17 pm

When I watch a commercial for a pharmaceutical, and I hear the speedtalker going through the list of side effects, I wonder sometimes which is more harmful.
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Re: Medical hoaxes - are they harmful?

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:42 pm

At least they publish the known side effects. Most are uncommon.

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Re: Medical hoaxes - are they harmful?

Postby TJrandom » Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:49 pm

On a cancer patient website we occasionally get cured by prayer hoaxers. One must be diligent and skeptical... in most areas of modern life.

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Re: Medical hoaxes - are they harmful?

Postby Io » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:02 am

Maybe we should all pray for people to stop praying.

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Re: Medical hoaxes - are they harmful?

Postby landrew » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:36 am

TJrandom wrote:On a cancer patient website we occasionally get cured by prayer hoaxers. One must be diligent and skeptical... in most areas of modern life.

I'll take a hoax prayer that works over chemotherapy that doesn't.
Just sayin'.
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Re: Medical hoaxes - are they harmful?

Postby Pyrrho » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:37 am

Hoaxes as described in the OP are harmful because they misdirect resources away from genuinely ill people.
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Re: Medical hoaxes - are they harmful?

Postby Pyrrho » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:40 am

landrew wrote:
TJrandom wrote:On a cancer patient website we occasionally get cured by prayer hoaxers. One must be diligent and skeptical... in most areas of modern life.

I'll take a hoax prayer that works over chemotherapy that doesn't.
Just sayin'.

Too bad the efficacy of prayer has not been established.

Chemotherapy is difficult, yes. The ravages of cancer, even more so. It is a benefit:risk question, and each situation is complicated.
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Re: Medical hoaxes - are they harmful?

Postby TJrandom » Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:15 am

landrew wrote:
TJrandom wrote:On a cancer patient website we occasionally get cured by prayer hoaxers. One must be diligent and skeptical... in most areas of modern life.

I'll take a hoax prayer that works over chemotherapy that doesn't.
Just sayin'.


I would too - if only a prayer provided any medical benefit at all, but alas never has one been shown to work - while chemotherapy does work, most of the time anyway.

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Re: Medical hoaxes - are they harmful?

Postby Willywizz » Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:39 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:Recently an Australian woman claimed to have been cured of cancer by a special diet. She never had cancer. Her motive was to sell her secret and make lots of money. Such people are evil, because they lead genuine sufferers into rejecting the medical treatments that might actually help.



Ew. Link?

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Re: Medical hoaxes - are they harmful?

Postby Pyrrho » Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:21 pm

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-28/d ... ed/8995500

Ms Gibson has been fined for five separate contraventions of the Australian Consumer Law Act.

The fine includes:

$90,000 for failing to donate proceeds from the sale of The Whole Pantry app, as publicly advertised
$50,000 for failing to donate proceeds from the launch of The Whole Pantry app
$30,000 for failing to donate proceeds from a 2014 Mothers Day event
$90,000 for failing to donate other company profits
$150,000 for failing to donate 100 per cent of one week's app sales to the family of Joshua Schwarz, a boy who had an inoperable brain tumour


Apparently she has not paid any fines.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-10/b ... ne/9967872
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Re: Medical hoaxes - are they harmful?

Postby Wordbird » Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:02 am

I'd like to make the case that medical hoaxes are helpful because when they're ultimately exposed, they force people to think critically about the claims others make, instead of blindly accepting them, even if the claimer has M.D. after his name.

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Re: Medical hoaxes - are they harmful?

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:05 am

Wordbird wrote:I'd like to make the case that medical hoaxes are helpful because when they're ultimately exposed, they force people to think critically about the claims others make, instead of blindly accepting them, even if the claimer has M.D. after his name.

Unfortunately the hoax will gain a following and bore into the body politic like a tick into a rhino.
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Re: Medical hoaxes - are they harmful?

Postby Wordbird » Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:13 am

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Unfortunately the hoax will gain a following and bore into the body politic like a tick into a rhino.


Individually yes.

However, the phenomenon I'm describing happens ubiquitously enough that a topic called "Medical Hoaxes" can be made and no one's going to dispute their existence.

https://theinfosphere.org/Mother%27s_Day_(holiday)
Robots love [Mother's Day] so much that even Bender is willing to buy presents instead of stealing them. However Mom secretly recycles the presents (by crushing them into powder and she sold them as a hocus-pocus cure for cancer) and takes the cash.

Hocus-pocus cures for cancer are a cultural phenomenon, even referenced in Futurama.

This is a good thing.

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Re: Medical hoaxes - are they harmful?

Postby TJrandom » Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:43 pm

Not a good thing if you have cancer - a fast acting disease, and you are looking to extend your life for a bit longer.

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Re: Medical hoaxes - are they harmful?

Postby Gord » Mon Jul 23, 2018 5:53 am

Pyrrho wrote:http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-28/disgraced-wellness-blogger-belle-gibson-fined/8995500

Ms Gibson has been fined for five separate contraventions of the Australian Consumer Law Act.

The fine includes:

$90,000 for failing to donate proceeds from the sale of The Whole Pantry app, as publicly advertised
$50,000 for failing to donate proceeds from the launch of The Whole Pantry app
$30,000 for failing to donate proceeds from a 2014 Mothers Day event
$90,000 for failing to donate other company profits
$150,000 for failing to donate 100 per cent of one week's app sales to the family of Joshua Schwarz, a boy who had an inoperable brain tumour


Apparently she has not paid any fines.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-10/b ... ne/9967872

Gibson. Hmmmmmmm!

I wonder if Mel Gibson is related to Trump?
"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
"Imagine an ennobling of what could be" -- the New Age BS Generator site
"You are also taking my words out of context." -- Justin
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Re: Medical hoaxes - are they harmful?

Postby Monster » Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:04 pm

Willywizz wrote:Medical hoaxes - are they harmful?

Yes.
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Re: Medical hoaxes - are they harmful?

Postby landrew » Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:43 pm

Monster wrote:
Willywizz wrote:Medical hoaxes - are they harmful?

Yes.

All hoaxes are harmful.
But sometimes they get it wrong. Nobody's perfect.
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