Sunday, September 04, 2016

#Wikidata - the conflict of interest in medical information

According to the clinical evidence handbook only 12% of the 2500 most prebscribed substances and treatments by doctors are not proven effective. There is a massive conflict of interest when unsubstantiated facts are allowed in Wikidata. Arguments like "it is NPOV" are used to defend the practice or "it is harmful for patients" when they can find out that a substance is no better than a placebo but does have negative side effects.

When an external source knows about a substance, it is fine to link to that source. This is not the same as importing the data wholesale particularly when the data is so obviously categorically problematic.

The Wikimedia Foundation has a responsibility and it is not in indicating what substances are prescribed. When we are to include information it is not on the basis that it has been approved for use but on the basis of that it is actually proven to be beneficial. An error rate of 12% on such vital information is not acceptable.
Thanks,
      GerardM
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