Mr Valmonty

Baby surgeon, washed-up gamer, centrist logic-bro, sourdough mum, hack guitarist, hillbilly mechanic, honorary Asian and fair-weather street-racer


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Is this not just an alternative way of describing a red herring argument? If not, I would be interested to see what nuance I'm missing.

I find this classically in the abortion discussion. Pro-abortionists will bring up valid-at-face-value concerns regarding rape and incest. But if you grant that victims of rape/incest can retain full access to abortions, the pro-abortionist will not suddenly agree with criminalisation of abortion in the non-rape/incest group. Why? Because the rape/incest point was a red herring argument

Firstly, I am very sorry for what you are going through. 

As a training surgeon, I would admit that I'd have a similar approach to yourself. Of my colleagues, I'd only say one in four are particularly 'conscious' thinkers despite being intelligent. Many work on auto-pilot in line with guidelines, which is the safest legal position and requires less effort in terms of decision-making.  It also alleviates the need for people to read and study the evidence base in detail. Whether through laziness, being over-worked or feeling legally vulnerable, individual patient factors are under-emphasised in favour of following the algorithm. 

I would advocate for 1) shopping for a physician who appears to exercise professional autonomy; 2) empowering yourself by reading; 3) if you want to go off-protocol, bring the evidence to an appointment so your physician can make themselves aware; 4) making your personal priorities clear both verbally and in documentation, i.e. advanced decision directives. I am not saying the doctors or guidelines are wrong, but they are standardised and generalised in a manner that gives 80% optimal care to 80% of people, roughly speaking

I wonder whether a cost judgement plays a part in these examples. Saving 2000 birds will have low effort cost and the risk of failure is less significant - trending towards 'there's nothing to lose'. Meanwhile, and attempt to save 200,000 birds (on its face) appears to entail a higher effort costs and the repercussions of failure would be more severe. Where faced with a situation where the default state is a negative outcome, people are often reluctant to invest their resources.