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How do you feel about this question: What can cause a lump in the middle of the neck??

The question is clearly not "personal" medical advice, but it can clearly be used as such. I feel that answers to this (and similar questions) could be used as medical advice by future visitors of the site, and I therefore feel that they are potentially dangerous and off-topic. Even if the OP has now included a full medical history to help with the diagnosis, I still think that this should be off-topic for the site, since diagnosing over the internet based on a short medical history is risky.

What do you think? Off-topic or not? Am I being too restrictive?

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I don't think we should consider these questions as personal medical advice. We can add a disclaimer stating that BioSE or its users are not responsible if the answers are used as some sort of medical advice.

Like experimental troubleshooting questions, questions on medical case reports should have sufficient information so that they can be addressed based on general principles. If the OP fails to provide sufficient information then the question should be closed as broad.

This question in particular, does not need all that case history because the main issue is identification of a fungus; the details for which are insufficient. Therefore this question is to be considered broad.

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  • $\begingroup$ I agree to a large extent, and I think it is difficult to "classify" these types of questions, and I agree that they have many similarities with experimental troubleshooting (and species identifications). I guess the problem I have with them is that they are usually very localized/narrow with a weak connection to biological processes, and if we get many of them the site might start to resemble a site for "medical advice". I don't think adding a disclaimer is a realistic solution, unless the disclaimer is very prominent in every relevant question. Otherwise, most visitors will not see it. $\endgroup$ Jun 1 '15 at 11:39
  • $\begingroup$ Also, there are two issues here: 1) "legal" responsibilities and 2) the risk that somebody is harmed after reading advice at BioSE. Granted, I don't think users of BioSE are under any legal responsibilities either way, but nevertheless, a diclaimer that BioSE users aren't responsible for any medical advice is still mostly targetting "legal" issues. However, there is still a risk that visitors of the site act on "advice" given here, which can lead to real-world consequences. This is of course possible for other questions as well, but the risks are larger for questions resembling medical advice. $\endgroup$ Jun 1 '15 at 11:51

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