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I've seen quite a few questions that have asked about accomodating martial arts practice to various medical conditions:

Most of the answers have included the caveat that we're martial artists, not health professionals. Perhaps I'm just overly anxious, but I wonder if it wouldn't be wise to create a tag and the tag wiki would contain the "official" warning. When moderators see a question or answer that touches on medical advice, we could apply the tag to remind folks that MA:SE makes no claim to provide medical diagnosis, prescription or advice. I don't think that any of us have stepped over the line, nor do I expect anyone to. But I think that a standard procedure can help to ensure clear presentation.

Aside: I think part of the problem is that these questions fit into a very sweet spot; they are intrinsically "situations you face", and medical issues are objective and have objective answers.

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I don't think so.

I would avoid having the tag, if it gets created then kill it. People shouldn't be here for , they should be here for . It's a small but very important distinction.

I say this as someone who has answered a question of this nature. I didn't answer the question with medical advice, I answered it with training advice - how to train with your injury, what to avoid, and what to expect.

None of us has professed a medical background, therefore we should not be giving medical advice, especially with the typical amount of details usually included in a question. By all means have an or tag, just not .

Specific tags can be black listed so that they cannot be created, although I'm not sure if the end user gets told why the tag is black listed - if they did then that would be ideal.

  • Oddly, your opposition supports my point; the point is that we don't give medical advice - we give martial arts advice. The tag means, "Before you read what I say below, you should see a professional about this; my answer does NOT include medical advice". Please edit the tag to make it clearer. – Mark C. Wallace Aug 31 '12 at 12:52
  • @Mark Yeah we agree on its danger but I think we shouldn't allow the tag to exist at all. Not everybody (i.e. very few) will click through to the tag wiki to see a warning. I think retagging where appropriate and moderation efforts on answers containing unsubstantiated medical advice should suffice. Don't forget that we can also down vote these types of answers. – slugster Aug 31 '12 at 12:59
  • @slugster I think a critical component got lost here. If it's just a tag, then I agree with you. If we bug the SE staff to add a feature so that the tag causes a warning to be displayed (like on skeptics when an answer doesn't have any references), then I support the tag. – Dave Liepmann Aug 31 '12 at 19:08
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It's a valid concern, and responsibility does fall on both the asker and answerer. An approach that somewhat skirts the medical issue is to comment more on the characteristics and movements in various martial arts. As martial arts experts, that is what I would expect (unless people also actually happen to be a medical professional of some sort). If I were commenting on a topic like that, I would also choose my words carefully and not necessarily encourage anything that could be damaging or risky for the user.

If the user had contacted a medical professional, having extra details in the question about the physical limits of that person's body is better than asking a generic question which will produce generic answers.

I am not so sure how that a tag is all that necessary, but I do not think it would hurt to have that and a description or reasoning. It could just so well point to this meta post here.

  • This doesn't cover the fact that we shouldn't be giving medical advice, period, and that if we do, there's a legal problem. – Dave Liepmann Aug 31 '12 at 19:10

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