Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Opinion or judgement?

Dr KK Aggarwal

Doctors often tell their patients that “your disease has no cure”. They should never say that there is no cure for this illness. Instead, doctors should say “I have no cure for your disease.” Or an even better answer is “I have no cure for your disease in my system of medicine.”

One of these statements is a judgement and the other is an opinion.

What is the difference between opinion and judgement?

One can have an opinion on any subject or issue. An opinion need not be based on facts or on evidence. Opinions are subjective as they are personal based on one’s beliefs or emotions. Others may agree or disagree with it.

Judgement, on the other hand, is an opinion, about the subject or issue in question, expressed as a fact. Judgement is supported by evidence i.e. there is no room for any doubt. Hence, it implies authority and gives a sense of certainty and finality.

There is no cure for this disease” is a judgement. “I do not have treatment for this disease”, this is an opinion.

There may be treatments available, which I may not be aware of.

Patient care is foremost for the doctor. Hence, always express an opinion and not a judgement.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are entirely my own.

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