Occasionally, we are asked to answer a question that falls (generally) into the "personal medical question" category.

Recently, this question appeared.

I posted what I consider to be the final (logical) word on the subject. Others chimed in with comments ranging from "you don't need to worry" to "happened to me and seems okay."

I removed the comments - they are worse advice than none at all - and locked the question.

The question was then edited to include information concerning how mercury contamination is handled in the United States.

I have now removed that information - it's not relevant to the country from which the OP is from for starters, and still falls into the category of "advice" anyway - and expect this question to remain untouched by the community.

We have no business advising anyone - much less a pregnant woman (let's assume the OP is as advertised) - about how to handle mercury contamination at home.

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ I strongly agree with this and think locking the question and pruning away the detritus was best! Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – Ed V
    Nov 30, 2021 at 20:48
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    $\begingroup$ 110% agree with what has been done. If there's been anytime in my half century plus when it is right to reinforce the message that the only medical advice truly worth receiving is from medical experts it is now. $\endgroup$
    – Ian Bush
    Nov 30, 2021 at 20:59
  • $\begingroup$ Related: chemistry.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/128/… $\endgroup$ Dec 1, 2021 at 5:39
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    $\begingroup$ I would not be as strict as others by default on all medical-ish questions but almost. If I may make a suggestion, we could also explicitly advise OPs to call a poisioning hotline (if it exists) and also contact their GP or see a doctor. This information is implicitly in your comment but perhaps indeed worth explicitly pointing out one or two particular options. To increase the likelihood that an OP will not go to some other forum instead. While contacting a reputable doctor may seem obvious, calling a poisoning hotline is less so. In any case, it is easier to seek help if advised to do so. $\endgroup$ Dec 3, 2021 at 10:22
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    $\begingroup$ I agree with @LinearChristmas and we should provide these Information in the visible close reason. I know were quite behind with actually filling these. The post owner will see the notice to consult a doctor (so will anyone with close/reopen privilege). What I don't think we should do is answer them in a way that could be regarded as advice (of any kind). We should also be discouraging towards these questions by closing them. Obviously, there will be blurry lines and grey areas, like questions asked in hypotheticals … $\endgroup$ Dec 8, 2021 at 23:20


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