Suppose you take your child to the pediatrician for a check-up. After running a battery of tests, the doctor returns with bad news: The child has a serious illness.
“How serious?” You ask.
“Well,” the doctor answers, “Mainstream thinking in medicine is that this particular disease grows progressively worse if left untreated and is potentially devastating. The major pediatric associations recommend treatment right away.”
Then the doctor says, “I have to tell you, however, that there are some skeptics – fewer than there used to be, and some more credible than others, but if you search the Internet, you will find people who don’t believe that your child is seriously ill.”
At some point in the conversation, you would ask a really important question: “What is the harm of treating my child if it turns out that she’s not really sick?”
“There are no adverse side effects,” the doctor answers. “In fact, the treatment has some mildly beneficial effects. However, it is very expensive.”