Get a second opinion, first
What I've just been reading about is this guy in the Hunan province in China who went to his doctor with some ailment or other and was told to eat six raw frogs a day to clear things up.
Instead of taking the sensible option and getting a second opinion he went along with it and ended up eating 130 of the little green amphibious types.
Now, I thought the story was going to end up with him getting into the Guinness Book of Records, or even finding out that his doctor is a kind of Chinese Jeremy Beadle, but it didn't.
What actually happened was he ended up in hospital at death's door because the frogs were infested with poisonous parasites. Not nice!
Well, conventional medicine helped him pull through and he's now fully recovered and busy suing the quack doctor who sent him down the frog-cure route.
The doctor, to be fair to him, probably thought he was doing the right thing, but had not factored in the possibility that other things, such as the poisonous parasites, were in play at the same time. The frog thing had probably worked with other more fortunate patients, I guess.
The strange thing is, I've also just been reading a document that aims to try to get people who don't have pensions to start saving for retirement.
While this is something that millions of people have done without encountering any problems, the plain fact is that saving for a pension for many of those who are currently unpensioned is simply not a good idea.
The means-tested benefits for pensioners has seen to that. Pensions aren't suitable for millions of people in the UK.
Spookily, this is another case of two things being in play at the same time. Let's hope people who are tempted to start saving, because it sounds like a good idea, get a second opinion and get proper financial advice first...
First published in Pensions Management, July 2004