I vote YES. Absolutely.
That's the whole point IMHO; otherwise this site will fall on an equal not-so-sweet spot between usefulness and uselessness as yahoo answers.
The only way we're going to move away from the abundance of "voodoo-medicine" is by demanding factual evidence.
If it's not documented, it is not medicine, it is quackery, even if it sounds right because "common sense".
I didn't go through the Area 51 process of voting, following, committing, and signing up to this site to be able to access "fairly proven common knowledge".
I came for the scientific health info exchange; I came for scientific data & knowledge translated to health advise when possible, if you may.
This site offers an opportunity to reduce the amount of disinformation and misinformation that prevail out there in every culture because of voodoo medicine and quackery. Patients are sick of it, doctors are sick of it, only charlatans profit. More and BETTER information will lead to healthier people and more doctors with enough time on their hands to pursue research efforts and push forward on medical discovery and progress.
Remember 2 things:
- Stack exchange sites strive to be for experts by experts, so the non-experts can read and learn actual facts and truly useful information.
- Stack exchange pages must have enough info to stand on their own and not rely so much on external sources because the web changes and links may break; so you should link references and also cite the relevant textual content if possible (unless copyrights don't allow it).
And let's not forget this topic is not arcade/gaming, movies & sci-fi where "mistakes" are almost (arguably) meaningless in the real world. This topic/site importance is comparable to (or more important than) programming, programmers and such, where not having access to the right information can cost jobs, money or even lives.
So, everything must be taken with a grain of salt? Yes, always, but that is no excuse for mediocre questions/answers.
I would very much like it if this site grew as much as stackoverflow or at least as big as serverfault, superuser & askubuntu. I'm not a doctor so I've been inviting all the reputable and respectable doctors I know. For starters my brother who is young but amazingly talented on both his intellect and his way of explaining complicated processes in a simple to understand manner.
I've seen Computer Sciences grow so very damn fast in a great deal thanks to the open and ever-generous community. I owe you guys a lot; you help me and I help you. We share and share knowledge that's easy to debug and test.
Our health deserves the same love.
Our health depends on the correct function of a system made of subsystems that were not designed by us.
So, regardless if you believe it was intelligent design or evolution, the fact is that all of our solid knowledge of this system has come from reverse engineering human biology or another kind of biology as a mean to understand our own.
I will be down-voting any answer that does not provide ANY kind of reference (and it should not be taken personal) that's lazy, plain and simple. It doesn't even have to be a totally irrefutable source; it can range from believable to reputable to trust-worthy to actual evidence. The point being that experts should exchange ideas & information with a problem solving mindset; vetted by experts, half baked answers with bad ideas and dubious references would sink to the bottom and the best ideas would rise to the top and we should know where those ideas came from.
So yeah, you should most definitely add reference links and cite sources, otherwise we have to take only your word for it. Taking your word is OK if we're in a hospital or a clinic because we can expect the person talking on a white coat to be a qualified professional, but on a web forum not so much, and if not providing references becomes accepted as part of this SE site's culture, then the site becomes pointless and useless to me and for you. We could very well be reading a consumer magazine (reader's digest) or a fashion magazine article and call it a day; but I don't want that, I want the evidence, I want the science.