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Before making a recommendation, wouldn't you want to know both the cost of the treatment and the possible negative effects? Aspirin is cheap, and if the negative effects are few and the benefits potentially great, this might be a good place to make a recommendation while you await more results.

As for the mechanism, sure, it would be great to know, but all sorts of medicines have been used for a very long time without a mechanism - or an exact mechanism - being know. Why does knowing the mechanism make you more comfortable with the results? Aren't they independent of such things?


John: I happen to hate that type of reasoning (that something is cheap, therefore...) for two reasons: 1) it is an argument for psychics and all sorts of voodoo since many of them don't do any harm; 2) we have an insurance system for medicine and each person does not bear the cost of his/her desired treatments; such a system requires regulation of waste.

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