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Thread: Subjective Data: Fact or Opinion?

  1. #1 Subjective Data: Fact or Opinion? 
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    Would you consider subjective data, such as a patient stated "I am in pain," to be a fact or an opinion?

    This is a debate I am having with someone and just want to get the input of others. I believe it to be fact because something such as pain cannot be proven by any other means other than someone stating that they are in pain, which, to me, is a fact. It is not something that can be disproved, the person in pain is the only authority over the pain.


    What's your take?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    You can test SOME pain, it depends on the type of pain and it's location.

    You might be able to test most types of pain using reflex points

    In the field though, you take the patients word for it and you try to determine the most probably cause of the pain. Lying to your doctor might be the second stupidest thing you could ever do


    Dick, be Frank.

    Ambiguity Kills.
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  4. #3  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    If there is a pain reflex it is a fact.

    You can test this for yourself.

    Take a hammer and smash one of your fingers. If you cringe you felt pain. If you showed no reaction you didn't.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

    - Arnaud Amalric

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  5. #4  
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    Thank you for your replies, however I am just referring to the subjective aspect of pain. I know that there can be facial indicators such as grimacing or an increase/decrease in vitals as well as several tests, but I am not considering this, just the patient's account of pain, do you consider the patient's statement of pain to be an opinion or a fact?
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  6. #5  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    It is not that easy

    There is an epidemic of crackheads who go to the hospital and complain about fake pain to get pills.

    If your a doctor you are well aware of these people, so someones looks and demeanor may trigger you to pay extra attention to what a person complains about, and what they want you to do about it.

    Bottom line, you take the patients words for fact, but this doesn't tell you anything. You must still do tests to find out the cause and what you can do about it.

    It's not like
    doctor: are you in pain
    patient: yes
    doctor: here's a prescription
    Dick, be Frank.

    Ambiguity Kills.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amberrose
    Thank you for your replies, however I am just referring to the subjective aspect of pain. I know that there can be facial indicators such as grimacing or an increase/decrease in vitals as well as several tests, but I am not considering this, just the patient's account of pain, do you consider the patient's statement of pain to be an opinion or a fact?
    You are asking whether humans will deceive other humans?

    That's a rhetorical question isn't it? (so was this one)..
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

    - Arnaud Amalric

    http://spuriousforums.com/index.php
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