The FAQ is not specific about the extent to which medical-advice questions are appropriate at Fitness & Nutrition. The FAQ does prohibit vague or unanswerable questions, overly local (personal) questions, and subjective/argumentative questions; as such, there are criteria to close some medical questions. A well-formed question of general interest that nonetheless requires some form of medical decision-making could be problematic.

A recent question here on meta raised the possibility of new close criteria - so this is NOT a question about new close criteria. Rather, I'm asking how the FAQ should be amended (another user here suggested asking this question).

  • 2
    I totally agree we need to avoid these questions as much as possible.
    – Ivo Flipse
    Commented Jul 10, 2011 at 15:42
  • @IvoFlipse: it's not really possible to avoid the questions being asked, though. I'm curious what the reaction should be. I have flagged one, but that's going to get old fast. So I am now just commenting on the question, asking to rephrase.
    – djangodude
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 19:46
  • @djangodude With that comment I meant rather that we shouldn't be endorsing or actively encouraging them. Comments are always good, even if you flag them for our attention as well
    – Ivo Flipse
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 21:50
  • OK, thanks...sounds like I'm doing the right thing, then! :-)
    – djangodude
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 22:09
  • FYI there is a health SE proposal that is in commitment phase. Commented Oct 19, 2014 at 22:36

1 Answer 1


The Wikipedia Reference Desks have a prohibition against requests for medical advice, and a user there has proposed a criterion for identifying such questions:

Can the question be answered completely without providing a diagnosis, prognosis, or treatment advice?

This might be a useful starting point for the FAQ.

  • Just to be explicit: I am not wikipedia user "Kainaw" - I just read about this on Wikipedia and thought it was useful.
    – Argalatyr
    Commented Jul 10, 2011 at 15:19
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    This is excellent. This quote should be included in the "not about" section of the faq. See this faq as an example: superuser.com/faq "If you have a question about … and it's not about … " Commented Jul 12, 2011 at 0:16

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