Skip to main content

The modern naming of diseases

Perhaps the medical profession has, finally, caught up with how to address diseases and be less blunt in explaining the prognosis to a patient.    Telling a patient that cancer is incurable?   A disease is "fatal?" etc. etc.

"If the World Health Organization has its way, celebrity through nosology—the classification of diseases—may soon go the way of consumption, dropsy, and other outdated diagnoses. In May, the W.H.O. released a set of best practices that prohibits the use of eponyms in the naming of new illnesses. The idea is to avoid creating stigmas that might affect trade or tourism or lead to social awkwardness. “I’m rather personally glad that I’m not Mr. Creutzfeldt,” Kazuaki Miyagishima, a W.H.O. director, told me, referring to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a degenerative brain disorder. Having such a name, he said, might take a lot of explaining, along the lines of, “There is nobody suffering from the disease in my family. If you want to marry me, you can marry me without risk.” The new guidelines replace references to people, places, and specific occupations with generic descriptive terms and the names of pathogens. The result is a straightforward designation such as “novel coronavirus respiratory syndrome” (although that one comes close to violating the pronounceability rule). The W.H.O. also advises namers to steer clear of words that might sow panic—“fatal,” “epidemic,” “unknown.”

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

One Forbes List: A roll call of criminals, psychopaths and megalomaniacs

2016 has ended and there has been the inevitable list of the best of 2016 of this or that.     

The just published Forbes List of the Most Powerful People is another thing altogether.    It is truly shocking to think that those listed are as downright awful and the worst of humankind has to offer.....yet wield enormous power.     The Age newspaper in "Who's who list a roll call of criminals, psychopaths and megalomaniacs" provides the details.....

"It's that time of the year again. In an effort to celebrate or sum up, or maybe just expunge the events of a year that's just wound up, we've become obsessed with rankings. Top 10 Christmas hits, bestselling books, the most excruciating movie moments, the seven things we're doing to wreak havoc on our planet. This year, courtesy of US presidential election, we also have the top 20 fake news stories, the 10 steps for adjusting to a Trump presidency, and the best destinations for those that find they simply ar…

"Wake Up"

The message is loud and clear....and as you watch this, remember that it was on Israeli TV - not some anti-semitic or anti-Israel program somewhere in the world.


Happy New Year....not?

Credited to Mike Luckovich