There was this question recently which was asking for medical advice about a situation where it was not really clear if it may need immediate medical advice. On the bicycles.SX site there is a special closing reason called

General health and medical advice is off-topic here; you should contact a qualified medical professional instead.

to flag/close such cases as it can be quite dangerous to rely on such medical advice from the web and where nobody can check how substantiated this advice might be.

I would highly appreciate to have a similar flagging/closing reason here. How's the opinion of others about it?

  • 1
    hmm, good question. I would say the question your linked was a bad example as it was more of a should I get help question. This seems relatively harmless enough. That said surely if your not sure the answer is yes?! But I can also see places where we could get serious medical issues that giving advice would simply put the person in danger. Does this link in with the discussion on disclaimers?
    – user2766
    Commented Dec 31, 2013 at 14:20

1 Answer 1


I don't believe so.

By creating an explicit close reason, you are training the community that anything mentioning "doctors" or "health" must always be closed unequivocally (because there is a close reason for it).

You have to look at the merits of the question. Reasonable adults can certainly talk about routine health and safety issues without delving into answers that are outside our station. Think about the hundreds or thousands of users beyond the original author who can learn about the dangers of frostbite. That's what this site is for.

Certainly providing specific medical advice is never advisable — that's good advice for any forum on the Internet — but adding another explicit "rule" in anticipation of something that isn't really a problem is just another way to alienate otherwise well-meaning users asking about perfectly valid issues.

We have a tendency to add rules to solve problems before one actually exists. I don't see a compelling reason to do so here.

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