By Ross Walker

The latest piece of nonsense from the namby-pamby, politically correct, left-wing nut jobs is the suggestion that medical professionals should no longer use the word pain! Also, just as bad are those other dreadful terms: sting, hurt, itch and worry.

To quote the doctor who made these suggestions: “The evidence shows that describing things in negative terms increases anxiety and pain and negativity interpretations of perceptions”.

Really? Is the medical profession now left with the word perception to try put a positive spin on the person’s symptoms? Well, I hope I’m allowed to use the word "symptom".

Just imagine the conversation with the patient. ”Yes, Mr Jones, it appears you’re having chest perceptions. Without feeling at all uncomfortable, can you describe, only in glowing, positive terms, those perceptions?”  

When we were children, our parents often quoted that hackneyed aphorism: “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me!” Well, it appears that if you believe this wacko from Adelaide (and I’m not criticising Adelaide), words may now hurt you.

Ever since the Tower of Babel, we’ve had this thing called language which is a major form of communication. As is the nature of our imperfect world, sometimes negative things happen. These negative occurrences may be very tragic, but it’s called reality. Symptoms are hardly ever positive.

The 'politically correct' have already tried to neutralise children’s sport by suggesting there should be no winners or losers. Heaven forbid that children learn they can’t always win! Now, they’re trying to make a doctor’s job even harder by trying to suggest we sanitise language by putting useful, common forms of communication which assist greatly in making diagnoses, purely on the off chance that these words may make the patient feel anxious or upset.

I would have thought that having the symptoms in the first place was enough justification for the person being anxious and upset - that’s why they’re seeing the doctor. This is not a battle between a conservative organisation such as the medical profession and certain elements suggesting we think differently about how we practise. This is doctors wanting to maintain their own, established set of norms such as the major tool of taking a careful history of the patient’s symptoms.

Let’s face it, this is a call to common sense. It’s now time that all people talking common sense point out to the vast majority of normal people that we won’t tolerate this type of politically correct nonsense any more.