I'm all for dying with dignity, and I want to be able to do that in my personal life as well. But not everyone feels that way, There are always those that cling to the small possibility that the dying patient will pull through, even if they've been in a coma for 5 months. In that case, you wonder what things will look like if they awaken... Ok, enough medical analogy.
Back when the call went out 39 moons ago, I expressed my doubts.
A tiny bit of history maybe behind the scenes is that those most interested in such a site were most interested in getting their personal medical questions answered. I've never seen so many differently worded questions on lateral epichondylitis in my life!
In any case, I was asked to be a mod, and I accepted with reservations. One of my requests was that I not be the only medical professional on the mod team. Two docs were selected (the other had already gotten the request email, so that was easy.) When faced with actual moderation, though, it was a rough and tumble fight between those who wanted a professional site and those who didn't (e.g. fought against sources, wanted to allow personal medical questions), and that mod quickly jumped ship. She even quit once. I don't quite understand why she reapplied for the position. But, suffice it to say, she believes to a destructive degree that the role of mods is to do as little as possible. On this site, that is not wise.
I have expressed this elsewhere. SE is not a good fit for medical questions. People upvote answers that sound good, especially if there's the obligatory reference tossed in there somewhere. It's not good enough. People with T1DM die, not live a long life without knowing that they have the disease (an accepted answer.) People who have odd encounters with bats need prophyllaxis, no question about it. People do not get tired after a meal because blood flow is diverted from the brain to the gut, or that insulin causes serotonin and melatonin secretion to increase. (That last answer, initially submitted without sources, was from the site's main CM, who ignored all of the recommendations he approved of.)
As a conscientious physician who was afraid of this from the very start, it was impossible for me to stand by and see this (often upvoted) misinformation fly freely. That means confrontations ensued: post notices, down votes, and a lot of comments pointing out that the sources weren't reliable, or worse, that the source didn't say what they claimed it said. Arguments in comments, complaints in meta and even on Meta.
That was at the beginning. What hasn't changed: bad questions, bad answers, answers without references even from medical professionals here and here on the same question (note the reasoning in the deleted answer: "as an MD, I rarely have the time to look for references though I know where exactly to find them. The American College of Cardiology (I'm a member), www.uptodate.com (I have a subscription) and several other serious medical sites have plenty of material to cover almost any question here but my problem is time. Therefore, I choose not to answer questions anymore.") (That was not the first doc to react to a request for sources that way. My reasoning is if you know exactly where to find an answer in the literature, why not provide a quick link? It's an extra minute of your life.)
Good questions won't happen because the community hopes they will. Docs won't stay who a) are too uppity to provide a link, or b) get tired of the poor-quality questions and stop coming to take a look.
I was gone for a year and I remained the highest rep user. That should say something.
I know many are fighting for the site. But the plain truth is that SE users, both those familiar and those unfamiliar with the SE model, don't like the 'rules' imposed on this site. I don't think making the rules plainer, or restricting the scope further will help the site. What will help the site is outside of the SE model, and therefor the CMs won't allow it.
If I were a semi-comatose patient on a vent for two years, I would want the plug pulled. This site is very much like a semi-comatose patient on a vent. You can't pull off a miracle.
Edited to add: As I'm not a regular here any more, the reason I posted an answer is the sense of responsibility I felt and the enormous amount of time I gave in trying to keep it alive. The re-incarnation of this site will require the same, but there are no interested medical professionals who have the time to commit to it that it will need. I don't know how many part-time medical pros it would need, but they will need to be of the same mind with regards to the site. If history repeats itself, nothing will have changed. I also want to commend the currently active mods who have stuck it out and devoted their energies to this difficult site. They have my respect.