Wednesday, May 7, 2014

George Washington's Rule #38

In working my way through George Washington's Rules for Civility and Decent Behavior, I have arrived at Rule #38 which states:

38. In visiting the sick, do not play the physician if you be not knowing therein. 

This seems self-explanatory. If you're not a doctor, don't attempt to give medical advice to your sick friends. That was George's rule.

Now, George didn't have Google. Most of us, when we ourselves or someone we love is sick or diagnosed with something, we immediately search the Internet to find out as much as we can about the illness and its possible treatments and cures. So on this rule I have to respectfully disagree with George. If I'm sick, and my doctor has prescribed antibiotics, or worse yet chemotherapy, you'd better believe I want to know first what the options are and whether or not this is a good course of action. I take advice from my friends, and I take advice and information from the Internet. And I am open to seeking out alternative,  radical solutions (like following a vegan diet to combat cholesterol, instead of taking statins).

What do you think? Do you side with George Washington, or with me?

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