Home > Uncategorized > Medical Uncertainity, Error and Ignorance.

Medical Uncertainity, Error and Ignorance.

I came across this blog post on Wired Science called Writing About Uncertainty — & Medicine That Ignores It. It’s essentially about these twins who are conjoined at the head and share connections in their brain linking their conscious. In simpler terms, doctors believe that the two babies sense each others emotions of feelings. Like if one twin eats something, the other twin will feel full. The preeminent issue in the blog post, however, is that these observations are simply based on speculation. The author talks about how very little science is actually involved in this case. I found this to be really interesting because the author talks about if there’s a differences of opinions between two scientists and whether or not one has to conform to the others point of view. Something else that really stood out to me in this blog was when the author talked about another set of twins in Iran, ages 29, who had decided they wanted to live apart. They went to Singapore for their operation and were informed of a 50-50 chance for survival. They took the chance. They died shortly after the surgery because the doctors were unaware of a major vein that they shared. This just goes to show that maybe we don’t know as much as we claim too.

I highly recommend this article to everyone. A lot of the information also really pertains to what we talked about in class, in addition to much more. How do you guys feel about this?

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. September 20, 2011 at 4:05 am

    This article shows exactly what is scary when we combine science and medicine. Yes I understand science advances medicine and develops life-saving procedures, yet there is so much more still to learn. The example of the conjoined twins from Iran is scary. It is scary to think about how much is still yet to be discovered. I want scientist and doctors to experiment to continue learning and growing the medical field, however I would never want them to use me as their subject. I would not have gone forward with an operation that had a 50-50 chance of survival. In the mist of tragedy, though doctors were able to learn more; more about the body and more about what they didn’t realize originally. I think that society often does not put a lot of emphasis on the negative occurrences in science, but often the happy. For example, if a cure for cancer was found that would be a top headline, but if a person had passed away due to an experimental cancer treatment you find that buried deep in the newspaper. People need to realize that science is a lot of trial and error and that all the questions still do not have answers.

  2. September 24, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    I do admire their courage. And sure it is scary but I’m sure the Iranian twins knew about the risks. They were informed that they have a 50% chance at survival and they took it because they wanted to live normal lives.

  3. September 25, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    I think we have to consider the fact that medicine is a scientific field and to quote an article we read a few weeks back, when referring to science that “There no ‘pure’ bedrock of observable ‘fact’.” As much as we wish science and more specifically medicine was all definitie answers and facts, the truth is that most of it is not. Much of science is built on theories and medicine is no exception, while yes we do know far more about it than we did say 200 years ago we still have a long way to go in terms of straight up facts. But what we also have to consider is that we wouldn’t be where we are today if we didn’t take chances everyone and a while, and yes sadly sometimes they cost us a life, but sometimes they save millions of lives; this is simply something we must accept as a way if life and an ever present aspect of the field of medicine.

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