Our patients with life-limiting diagnoses are vulnerable to unreliable advice. The nature of this advice ranges from harmlessly useless to life-threateningly toxic. As the preceding case study shows, misuse of a common household item can lead to a devastating critical illness. Unfortunately, the Internet increases the availability of vague and erroneous health information, and frightened patients may find the false assurances of Internet blogs comforting.

Understanding the desire for wellness that motivates patients with serious illness to try alternative remedies while also recognizing the potential hazards that such actions can pose is essential in critical care practice. Our respect for the emotions and beliefs of our patients increases the chance that we will elicit the information we need to establish an appropriate diagnosis. At the same time, steering patients and their families away from unreliable information has a profound impact on their safety....

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