Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Why we need truth in labeling of medical conditions

From the Restless Legs Foundation

The author has a point here, labels do affect how we relate to people in everyday life.  For example differently abled creates different images than crippled.

From the 18 February 2012 posting at Kevin MD by TONI BERNHARD, JD

Labels matter. We quickly form judgments based on them. If we hear someone called lazy, the label “lazy person” attaches in our mind even though we may not have even met the person. The same is true for labels given to various medical conditions. If the label for an illness uses language such as “fatigue,” we abstract from our experience and think we know what it’s like to suffer from it.

Some medical disorders have been named after the researcher who discovered or described them in the medical literature (Alzheimer’s). Others are named after a famous patient (Lou Gerig’s disease). The result: instant legitimacy.

The trend, however, is to name illnesses and pain conditions by describing their primary signs or symptoms. There may be sound reasons for this trend, but it can lead to inaccurate labeling of people and to unnecessary suffering by those who’ve been diagnosed with the disorder or disease.

 [The author goes on to describe the inaccuracies of the label “restless legs syndrome”]

February 18, 2012 - Posted by | health care | ,

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