ITGS Syllabus

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Topic 204

Medical advice on the Internet or a CD-ROM by Marek

The internet has been growing ever since its inception, and now contains a wealth of information, false or otherwise. Used from everything to relay basketball scores, the sale of fishing utensils, and sporting insipid drones garnishing the front covers of notoriously famous magazines such as Hustler, it has become a tool that we as human beings use on a near daily basis. In fact, the average students spends 45 minutes on internet everyday! This is a phenomenally high number seeing as the over 80 percent of the population on this planet do not have access to the every same resources we use on a daily basis.

However, many people have learnt the hard way, that information on the internet can be unreliable and now, with medical data these mistakes, deliberate or not, can be life-threatening.

Suppose someone was to mistype the name of a medicine given to people in great need of it (Soldiers on a battlefield, Refugee camps). This may not seem like a significant error, but it may have grave consequences, seeing as many medical compounds merely have a single letter difference between them. Giving someone the wrong medicine can not only disrupt their healing process, but potentially reserve the effects of the prior medicine administered, and kill them. This is why many of the more reliable sites have other sources cite how the information is correct, and others included medical diplomas or certificates that state the institute supporting the site is both valid and trustworthy.

On the other hand, medical information on a CD-ROM seems to be much more reputable than that on one found on some random site on the internet. For one, the average prankster would not want to spend the time and effort, not to mention the money to create an intricate lie in the form on information on a CD, just to fulfill his mischief gene. After all, it is so much more easy to stick the misinformation on the internet, that way it is cheaper, and more likely to be viewed by many more people. It would also be a lot harder to trace than a CD.

In conclusion, I would like to state that before any medical professionals use information on sites or a CD that may seem slightly unreliable, they could cross-reference it with other professionals, to make sure that the knowledge given by the source has not been corrupted in any way.


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