Talk:Medical condition

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Split proposal[edit]

No one likes it when I bring up things like this, and I lack skill as an editor, but I need to ask: do we really want to redirect the only neutral term in use for "medically defined state of being" to "disease?" I realize in common usage, even by insurance agencies and the like, the terms are synonymous-but many misleading and pejorative terms have been in usage by groups that "should know better" and it has never been Wikipedia's policy to support bigotry and confusing language.

Yes, I often hear people claim "I have no medicinal conditions" or feel the need to qualify when they use the term to refer to states that are not indicative of illnesses or injury; ie. they say "benign medical condition" or "heathy, normal, medical condition." I find this highly problematic as it implies any and all non-qualified conditions are non-optimal, are diseases or disorders.

This becomes one more incidence in the growing trend for medical and scientific speech becoming a foreign and usually misunderstood language to the average user. This is why we have respected American news-anchors, who on hearing that a politician is in "stable condition" ask if he might pull through, or when states of being described as "conditions" will be cured.

I know we encounter much difficulty in neural-diversity circles because when you refer to something, such as dyslexia, arguably not a "broken" state, as a "condition," then listeners hear "disease" and "something in need of curing." (I am not claiming that I haven't encountered great difficulty due to my dyslexia, just that it has been persuasively argued that it is a difference that in other circumstance is adventurous. I have also had great problems due to being left-handed and I am not alone in thinking serious efforts to "cure" or "wipe-out" "sinisterism" were barbaric and wrong-headed.) If you lack a medical condition, you are not "healthy" or "normal," you are in fact not alive. I am the last person to promote P.C. terminology gone amuck, making meaning unclear, in this case, this is not the case; this is the opposite. Like it or not, Wikipedia is viewed as the arbiter of proper usage by many and this redirect is contributing to the general state of confusion and pejorative speech. (talk) 06:27, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

There are two unrelated uses for the phrase medical condition in English.
One is the news-anchor use: "What's his condition?" "He's in serious condition". This is perhaps more accurately described as medical state, and it is unrelated to the use here. In your assertion that "no medical condition" means "dead", you are presumably talking about this medical state use. As a point of fact, "deceased" is actually a medical state.
The relevant one is far broader: having a "condition" or "situation" that reasonable people would expect to get some medical attention for (at least under some circumstances). This does not actually require making a negative judgment about the condition. If it did, then you could never take an academically gifted child into get a formal IQ assessment for fear of the child being "judged" or "diagnosed" as being different, and of course all very short people and most very tall people would be considered "diseased".
The reason that Asperger's and dyslexia are considered "disorders" is because—unlike people who are formally diagnosed with the medical condition called short stature—people with these conditions cannot do things that the average person is able to do (e.g., have easy social interactions or easily learn how to read). People with these conditions may also have special talents, but they have measurable deficits in their abilities, too. Something like dyslexia is, at best, a mixed bag, and for many people with it, it's all negative.
Or, to put it another way, if you found a genie in a bottle and it granted you three wishes, you might wish for your loved ones to be rich or smart or attractive, but you probably wouldn't wish for any of them to have dyslexia. And if one of your loved ones did appear to have dyslexia, then you would expect that person to get attention from a doctor for it, even if the attention is as minor as confirming that the lack of normal academic success with normal effort is due to dyslexia and not poor vision, intellectual difficulties, or some other issue. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:56, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
I am well aware of the distiction between "state" and this context of "condition." The point that I am trying to raise is what you, in your typical, linguistically gifted fashion, discribe much better than I, in your next section.
In it's most common use, "medical condition" describes a state "in need of repair."
I recognize that as "normal speech."
I find it telling that you use the term in question many times when you draw the distiction between potentially negative medical conditions and those that are not "disorders." You very aptly raise and discribe the point I am trying to make, but I feel is in need of redress.
If we define, as we are, all "medical conditions" to be "diseases" then we are precluding the existence of conditions that are not to the detriment of their possessor.
Being under five feet tall is a great example, you refer to it as a "medical condition," --there is no easy way to otherwise discuse certaint states of being. You specifically make a distiction between such conditions and "disorders."
This is my point.
Wikipedia is currently not reflecting this distinction. We are using language that equates all "medical conditions" with " states that you would not wish on your loved ones." I think that is certainly not our intent and is very likely to offend people, as well as being my personal peeve of being very unintentaily misleading language.
We redirect "Medical Condition" to Disease and make some brief, confusing mention there of attempts to get the term to be considered as neutral speech, but not why or how. This is a very different issue than that of the separate meaning of "medical state."
As a matter of fact, in my country, people do rightfully as it turns out, fear to get gifted students assessed.
There is a growing confusion between "condition" and "negative condition" in the U.S.A.Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page without content in them (see the help page).
(I am bothered by some other assumptions you make, I am very thick skinned about it. I only mention it because many people do take understandable issue and offence.) Again, thank-you for spending time on my issue. I feel that I am being clear and have no desire to make my personal issues into the resurgence of an old edit war, so, as I said I am backing off. I think a distinction needs to be made, both for clarity and to avoid offensive speech; I feel I have been clear about this issue-I could be mistaken on all counts. (talk) 01:57, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
I can easily imagine someone wishing short stature on their daughters. They would call it "being petite". We are not defining all medical conditions as being diseases. We are, however, defining all diseases as being medical conditions. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:10, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
That is precisely my problem. It is inaccurate, misleading, and offensive to define medical condition as an exact synonym for disease but that is literally what we are doing. We are not as you state here, and on the disease talk page, defining medical condition as a broader term encompassing diseases. We are defining them as the same and doing so by use of the other term. It is Orwellian and your defense of it staggers my credulity. (talk) 03:00, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
We are not: We define "medical condition" as "a broad term that includes all diseases and disorders." Disorder ≠ disease. Also, that item specifically calls out the situation of a health-related issue that the person does not consider to be deleterious.
Could this description be improved upon? I think so, and if you've got solid sources with a better description (perhaps a textbook?), then please let me know. But the fact remains that the page does not define medical condition as "an exact synonym for disease". WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:15, 17 March 2014 (UTC)