Personal medical advice questions are off-topic on Health Stack Exchange. The close reason states

Questions requesting personal medical advice are off-topic here. Nobody here can properly address your health issues. Such questions should be taken to your personal physician who can examine you and access your full medical records. For more information, please see this meta post.

Recently, I've seen a couple folks (1, 2) recently ask questions that would seem to fit into the above close reason were it not for the fact that the patient profile describes a person who is apparently imaginary. In fact, in the second question, the author writes

following story, note: this is a made up story of an individual that does not exist. No need to comment "oh sorry we cannot give advice"

before giving quite detailed specifications and data.

We have absolutely no way of knowing whether or not the situations are actually hypothetical. I don't particularly like the idea of having such a loophole, where people can merely phrase their question in a different way to circumvent a restriction imposed for their own safety and well-being.

I personally feel that these questions should be considered off-topic for the reasons above, but I assume others might disagree. Should these questions be allowed on Health Stack Exchange, or should they be closed as off-topic?

1 Answer 1


I think that it is not personal diagnosis that should be unacceptable on Health.SE, but all diagnosis

What academic benefits can be gained if we diagnose an imaginary person? We can never have all the information to make a sound diagnosis. Even if this was a legitimate question about, let's say homework from university, we shouldn't do it for them.

I can't see any way how answering such type of questions would help anyone on Health.SE.


If we follow this approach, questions like "what illness do these symptoms suggest?" will be considered off-topic. However, "what symptoms does this illness suggest" is valid.

Health.SE would only be able to help once the diagnosis is established.

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