Doctor: While a few alternative medicines have dangerous side effects, some, such as many herbs, have been proven sa...

calebhayter on February 2, 2020

Answer A

Doesn't answer A require us to take a greater leap in our thinking than answer C? We are looking for some evidence that herbal remedies would be harmful. Answer C's harm of a possible allergic reaction seems to me to be more definitive than Answer A's harm of simply neglecting a more effective treatment. If I have treatment 1, which is 60% effective, and treatment 2, which is 80% effective, am I actively causing harm by choosing treatment 1? It's not as effective, but to me that doesn't necessarily mean that it is actively causing harm, in the way that choosing a treatment that is 0% effective, and actually exacerbates the patient's condition, would be actively causing harm.

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Annie on February 3, 2020

Hi @calebhayter,

This question asks us to find the answer choice which "most seriously weakens" the doctor's argument. When you have a question like this, its important to note that multiple answer choices may weaken the argument, but you are looking for the strongest one of those options. You're reasoning in your question seems to suggest that you may have gotten hung up on this, as both answer choices could be interpreted to weaken the argument, but answer A does so in a stronger way.

Answer (A) is correct because it provides a reason that was not stated in the argument for why the doctor is wrong. The doctor essentially tells us that alternative medicines are generally safe, so they should always be allowed. But, then this answer choice tells us that in reality many people neglect the proven treatment in favor of the alternative medicines. So, it weakens the argument that they should always be prescribed, because maybe people will stop taking the known medicine if they are.

Answer (C) is incorrect because it is irrelevant. This answer choice tells us about people have allergic reactions, but the doctor is only discussing alternative medicines which are "proven safe to consume." So, there is no worry about allergic reactions in the ones that he is advocating for.