Revision as of 22:05, 30 April 2012 by Mlj
Meaning, occuring as a result of medical intervention.
- Pedant's point
- Strictly speaking, the ending "ic" makes the word into the case that means "creating"; so "iatrogenic" should mean "something which creates [generates] doctors". A colleague had rather a lot of children, all of whom became doctors - a process which might correctly be described as iatrogenesis; and medical schools could certainly be described as iatrogenic organisations.
- Something created or generated by doctors should, from a strictly grammatical point of view, be described as "iatrogenous", to get the case right. Very few people, however, say "iatrogenous"; and very few people use "iatrogenic" to refer to a process which creates doctors. So, if a dictionary or reference is intended to describe the way that language is actually used, as opposed to the way in which pedants think it should be used, then this pedant must accept that "iatrogenic" is used to describe something caused by doctors or the treatments they recommend or prescribe.