The internet provides unparalled informational resources for consumers of health care.  Discuss the positive and negative aspects of this.

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The main positive aspect of this is essentially seen in the question.  There is more information available to individuals today.  They do not have to be completely dependent on their doctors for information.  This is a good thing because people can have lots of access to information at any time of day.  It can help them know when their symptoms are serious enough that they need to see a doctor.  Therefore, it prevents people from making unneeded doctor visits and it allows them to get information when they are not able to see a doctor.

The negative aspect of this is that people are not always equipped to use the information well.  The average layperson can easily make a mistake when looking at medical information on the internet.  They can misdiagnose themselves, which can be dangerous if they decide that they have some minor ailment when in fact they are badly ill.  Their relationships with their doctors can be strained if they take information from the internet and demand that their doctors act on that information rather than on their own professional judgment.

Thus, the profusion of medical information on the internet can be good or bad.