Conflicting expert opinions – how do I know who’s right?

So, you finally plucked up the courage to go for a second opinion, and guess what – now you have two or more well-qualified and plausible experts with compelling arguments telling you to do the exact opposite. Who should you trust? Who’s more credible? And, can’t we just rely on the scientific literature to give us the answers? […]

New and “untested” treatments

“My doctor talked about the ethics of infertility treatment and how some clinics will try (and charge for) all sorts of unproven treatment where often there was no medical reason for a particular patient to require that unproven treatment.” The unproven treatment issue is a really interesting one because most medical professionals consider “proven” to mean something supported by multiple randomised controlled trials. The problem is that cutting-edge ideas are new and haven’t had the chance to be sufficiently trialled (or, in some cases, don’t lend themselves to such randomised designs for ethical and/or practical reasons). So, should all the new ideas be ignored until they are considered “proven”? […]