Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Medicine-related articles

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Please change the 'encouraged' section ordering[edit]

The current order seems illogical (eg. Prevention between Diagnosis and Management) and some editors try to enforce it despite the guidelines saying they may be varied. There has been support for changing the list of recommended sections and no opposition. Can we reorder the suggestions along the lines of Archive_6#Order_of_sections ? - Rod57 (talk) 16:20, 20 December 2015 (UTC)

Does anyone object to this proposal? I think it's a generally good idea. Also, perhaps we should highlight that note about varying the section order, to make it stand out. WhatamIdoing (talk) 08:07, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
We have thousands of articles organized by the current recommended layout. So not interested in seeing it changed. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 19:11, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
We don't have to change the articles all at once. Just deprecate the old layout and use the new layout going forward. It is a fairly standard process when dealing with ...err... standards. We shouldn't let tradition hold us back if there is a better way. Sizeofint (talk) 20:18, 21 October 2016 (UTC)

Diagnosed "autistic" or "with autism"[edit]

Is someone "diagnosed with autism" or "diagnosed as autistic"?[1] The New York Times article cited, says "...received a diagnosis of autism..." and it seems one would be diagnosed with a condition ("autism", a noun) rather than being diagnosed as a person who has a condition ("autistic", as a person with autism) or diagnosed as being described a certain way ("autistic" as an adjective). People are diagnosed "with cancer", not "as cancerous" or "as a person with cancer". Thoughts? - SummerPhDv2.0 20:50, 24 July 2016 (UTC)

With a lot of mental disorders and disabilities, it's generally preferred to use person-first language, as in "a person with autism" as opposed to "an autistic person", but there's a movement within the autism community that prefers "an autistic person" as a way of reappropriating the term and asserting that it's not a negative thing (like cancer, for example). So as far as NPOV/tone, I think debatable and I recently decided that in general, I'd stop changing it from however it was written when I got there (whereas I'd previously been changing it to person-first language whenever I came across it). In the example you gave though, stylistically, I think "diagnosed with autism" sounds better than "diagnosed as autistic", which sounds kind of awkward IMO. PermStrump(talk) 00:00, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes would typically do "diagnosed with X" but autism is a borderline case as some view it differently. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 04:04, 25 July 2016 (UTC)

Well you can't be diagnosed as cancerous, unless you're chock-full of radiation and poisoning everyone around you — but for this specific case I would tend towards the active voice, rather than the passive. The literature is clear that people (not just those with low reading scores) find the active voice easier to understand. Regarding neutrality I don't see how that could be an issue. Carl Fredrik 💌 📧 07:47, 25 July 2016 (UTC)

Perhaps this construction is more common among psychiatric conditions (loosely defined). It's not unusual to say that someone has been "diagnosed as anxious" or "identified as depressed", etc. I don't think there's one perfect phrase that should be used exclusively. WhatamIdoing (talk) 08:04, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
should be with autism...IMO--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 09:44, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
Agree that person-first language is preferred; specifically, using the -ic suffix as a noun is seen as labeling and objectifying people who have conditions. Schizophrenic is the prototype example, though those with diabetes are less concerned about being referred to as diabetics. In conditions where stigma lives, avoid noun-ifying the condition. ... "Diagnosed with autism" could also be "diagnosed as having autism." Drdaviss (talk) 13:33, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
I have no problems with identity-first language being used to describe autistic individuals. In fact identity-first language is used throughout the Autism Speaks article. But the specific edit being questioned [2] is about the diagnosis, and the diagnosis is called "autism," not "as autistic." That's the term that the New York Times uses, and that's the term that's used by most medical sources to describe the diagnosis. I don't see "diagnosed with autism" as a problem, especially when the rest of the article uses identity-first language. CatPath (talk) 21:38, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
I guess I started the tangential conversation about person/identity first language. I wasn't sure if OP was talking about the words autism vs autistic in general or only in that specific context, so I was just covering all of the bases. I'm still not sure actually or if this discussion is about making an official guideline for how to word it. If that's the case, in the example OP gave, I do think "diagnosed with autism" is preferable, because, piggybacking on what CatPath said, the DSM and ICD talk about the diagnosis of autism, autism spectrum disorder, or ASD. PermStrump(talk) 21:55, 25 July 2016 (UTC)

I have notified WP:WikiProject Autism of this discussion. I'm a bit concerned about the "selective" notification - excluding the most directly relevant WikiProject. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 16:40, 26 July 2016 (UTC)

As oversight on my part. While I am aware of the "identity first" argument and the "person first" argument, I'm rather baffled by the application of either here. A diagnosis is a condition, not a person (however labeled). - SummerPhDv2.0 03:11, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
SummerPhD, This should clear up the bafflement... See CatPath's comment above. The issue is the use of "autistic" versus "autism." The diagnosis uses the latter. Drdaviss (talk) 07:08, 27 July 2016 (UTC)

Changes to section headings[edit]

There's a proposal at WT:PHARM#Physical and chemical properties section name to change the "Physical and chemical properties" section header to "Chemistry" in MOS:MED#Drugs, treatments, and devices and MOS:PHARM. Seppi333 (Insert ) 11:03, 21 August 2016 (UTC)

Writing for 12-year-olds[edit]

CFCF removed the following in August, from the "Signs of writing or editing for (other) patients" section.

* You use a writing style appropriate for 12-year-olds, because the sixth grade reading level is recommended for patient information leaflets.

I restored it today, because we're not writing patient-information leaflets or for 12-year-olds. Doc James has removed it again. This has become an issue because even very common words are being challenged. SarahSV (talk) 21:12, 22 October 2016 (UTC)

We should be at least writing the lead of our article for a general audience. IMO "diaspora" is not a very common word. Wondering what other people's opinion is? I doubt a significant portion of grade 12 students would know it. Wikipedia should provide an introduction to most topics for those without a significant background already. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:17, 22 October 2016 (UTC)
It appears that SlimVirgin is attempting to solve a content dispute at Female genital mutilation over this dif by Doc James by changing the guideline, which is not a good idea. Discussion is at Talk:Female_genital_mutilation#Diaspora. Jytdog (talk) 21:27, 22 October 2016 (UTC)
Always the bad faith, Jytdog.
Doc James, the sentence says that a sign of writing for the wrong audience is writing for 12-year-olds, not grade 12. Nowhere on Wikipedia does it say we should aim our writing at 12-year-olds or that medical articles should read like patient leaflefts, so it's worth pointing that out. I agree with you about removing jargon, but you're taking it too far. We need clarity, not simplicity that lacks clarity. SarahSV (talk) 21:32, 22 October 2016 (UTC)
you are the unconstructive "Dr No", SlimVirgin, except in cases like this where you are trying to "win" a content dispute. Then you will be constructive. And it is well established that we don't run and try to change a policy or guideline to solve a local dispute. Please solve this at the article. Jytdog (talk) 21:35, 22 October 2016 (UTC)
I have no idea what your first sentence means, except that (as usual) you're personalizing this, so please stop doing that.
This isn't about one article. It's happening in several articles. Poor prose and mistakes are being introduced under the guise of keeping things simple. We should aim for clear (not simplistic) communication, and that requires good writing. SarahSV (talk) 22:00, 22 October 2016 (UTC)
One can write using easier language without introducing mistakes. We should be working together towards this goal. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 22:04, 22 October 2016 (UTC)
"Always the bad faith, Jytdog." is not personalizing? Again, we don't solve local content disputes by changing policies/guidelines. Jytdog (talk) 22:16, 22 October 2016 (UTC)
This article is an excellent example of the problem we face. Supposedly I have no idea after 11 years of post secondary education and a life time of reading what the term "diaspora" means and yet we are to use it in the lead of an article of great interest to many people who speaking English as a second language.
Our WP:FA process appear to seriously let down the audience we are supposedly writing for which is the generally public. We have a lot of FA that are way overly complicated. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 22:23, 22 October 2016 (UTC)
Article leads should be understandable by the vast majority of readers (e.g., at a high school reading level). The article body should be understandable by the readership base for whom particular sections of text are intended; ideally article text should be accessible to everyone, but I really don't expect articles or particular article sections on specialist (sub)topics, like Fatou's lemma which is used in mathematical proofs involving Lebesgue integrals, to be accessible by the general public. In the case of medical articles, any article sections that cover a clinically relevant subtopic should be written in a manner that is accessible to as many people as possible. Ideally, that approach is what our MOS should advocate. Seppi333 (Insert ) 23:35, 22 October 2016 (UTC)
Agree I have less concerns with the body of the text being more complicated. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:41, 22 October 2016 (UTC)
In theory I agree the leads should be simple enough for the general public. I do cringe at some of the clunkiness that results from this though. Sizeofint (talk) 03:21, 23 October 2016 (UTC)

The issue with this line of the MOS is that it promotes the idea that if a text can be understood by a 12 year old it is poorly written. This strikes me as a problem because patient information guidelines are based on the average reading level of the population, and for our articles to be useful they need to be understood, especially the ledes. Carl Fredrik 💌 📧 00:08, 23 October 2016 (UTC)

New Section Option Proposed: Case Studies and Experimental Treatments[edit]

I would like to propose adding to the list of suggested sections the option of "Case Studies and Experimental Treatments." Such a section may be especially appropriate in regard to diseases for which there are no widely accepted treatments, such as persistent vegetative state for which there is a body of peer reviewed literature documenting experimental treatments that have produced positive results. I believe this material would be of interest to general readers and to those starting the process of researching the topic (and discovering citations that may be pursued) for reasons related to school reports, professional research, or personal reasons (for example, a family member facing this condition).

While MEDMOS makes clear that other sections may be added, some editors hold the MEDMOS must be religiously adhered to and insist on deleting well documented experimental treatments, even when the fact that no treatment has been universally recognized is clearly stated. Adding to the list of section options a section title like "Case Studies and Experimental Treatments" would perhaps aid the development of many articles by providing a place to collect information that may be useful to readers while also doing so in a way that emphasizes that the information in that section does not reflect an evidence based general treatment recommendation. (talk) 16:01, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

There is already a "Research" section. How is this different? Sizeofint (talk) 18:52, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
Should still be supported by review articles even if it is research. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:42, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
Yes. This would be likely, over time, to wreak havoc in cancer articles, & I must say I'm against it. Johnbod (talk) 15:47, 21 December 2016 (UTC)

"Notable cases" for a disease?[edit]

Wrong forum, discussion at WP:MED, this is for policy discussion

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

CFCF (talk · contribs) is repeatedly removing [3][4] the "Notable cases" section from Bright's disease under the explanation, "This is blatantly spam and not allowed on Wikipedia" and citing WP:MEDMOS and WP:TRIVIA. Obviously this is not a trivia section, per WP:TRIVIA, nor is it "blatant spam". Would anyone at MEDMOS care to comment on why this is "not allowed on Wikipedia"? This removal is complete, not some rational attempt to select notable cases, or to seek sourcing. Nor is there any attempt to discuss, merely to edit-war. Andy Dingley (talk) 15:44, 21 December 2016 (UTC)

I admit to some degree of lost patience after removing hundreds of similar sections over Wikipedia. The general consensus is to only allow cases that have profoundly influenced the knowledge or public perception of a disease, e.g. Lou Gehrig & Lou Gehrig's disease. None of the examples in that section seemed to uphold that standard. A tip for the future is to go to WT:MED for general discussion about medical topics — this page is for discussing the guideline. I hope you will understand why I may have been a little short in my justification for this, you won't believe how Michael Jackson took over the article on propofol when he died. Best, Carl Fredrik 💌 📧 15:51, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
Maybe you're just a big fan of popular culture, but what does Michael Jackson have to do with this? You removed all of the cases for Bright's disease as "trivia", but you left the pop culture references to it behind, because you see those as non-trivial? And when did "I lost patience" become an excuse for edit-warring when you're reverted by another editor? Andy Dingley (talk) 16:00, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
Reverting your single edit is hardly edit-warring. In addition I gave more than one policy-citation for why the content was inappropriate. As for patience, if I rephrase it to: "there is no way this will remain, and a discussion about it is a waste of time" — does that clarify? I'm sorry for being rude, but with the massive amount of such sections it is difficult to find the endurance to justify each and every deletion in detail. This is fundamentally about WP:DUE and whether the information is notable enough to be part of the article. Popular-culture mentions such as in that section could arguably go under the same bat, but I did not look through that section thoroughly. Carl Fredrik 💌 📧 16:05, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
Note: There is now a WP:MEDTRIVIA-shortcut to the notable cases section. It may have been better to direct there from the start and we could have avoided this dispute. Carl Fredrik 💌 📧 16:10, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
Yes, an undiscussed re-imposition of your edit, after its reversion is edit-warring, pure and simple. You did not discuss this. You did not suggest any criteria for what might constitute an illustrative example of Bright's disease (as noted on the talk: page, there's some indication that this was an occupational disease of Victorian civil engineers). You did not reveal any concerns over sourcing standards. I would also point out that if "there is no way this will remain", then it needs to come from more people than just yourself. Especially as your main characteristics seem to be impatience and a lack of thoroughness. Andy Dingley (talk) 16:17, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
  • in general we don't do this, as a) it is not commonly done on medical tertiary sources; b) we generally seek to use the highest quality sources we can (inciuding for society and culture sections which are not under MEDRS) and discussion of society and culture aspects of medicine generally don't discuss celebrities etc. c) in general it is kind of trashy/gossipy. It is an ongoing problem in this "encyclopedia that anyone can edit" because a) people like gossip; b) other parts of the encyclopedia welcome pop culture trivia based on poor sources; c) advocates often want to put someone famous on the article about their condition to draw attention and resources to it. Jytdog (talk) 21:51, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
This is another reason why we generally don't do it. once you open that door all kinds of garbage based on poor quality sources come in. MEDMOS currently advises that such lists be limited to people who high quality sources say had some impact on the history of the condition (Michael J Fox would be obvious - not only has he created tons of awareness but the foundation he launched and guides has had a huge and demonstratable effect on research in the field) Jytdog (talk) 00:16, 22 December 2016 (UTC)

Hyperthrophic cardiomyopathy[edit]

I've just been advised about this language when CFCF removed (and then re-removed after being reverted) the entire list of notable cases from Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a sourced list that has been in the article for years. I find this particularly troubling in this case because the disease is known to the public at large mainly because of such notable cases, especially (though not exclusively) cases of sports figures whose lives, or careers, have been ended by the disease. Removing this sourced content substantially diminishes the encyclopedic value of the article for many readers. Alternatively, I could contemplate moving the sourced items in the list to a separate article as is suggested in the last paragraph of Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Medicine-related articles#Notable cases, but wholesale elimination would do no one a favor here. --Arxiloxos (talk) 18:14, 23 January 2017 (UTC)

Better to take this to WT:MED, I will copy your message there. Carl Fredrik 💌 📧 18:44, 23 January 2017 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.