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#13- Physician: The patient is suffering either from disease

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I don't understand the difference between D and E. If someone can break down the difference, that would be lovely. It seems like either one would work as a principle for the stimulus.
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Hi PositiveThinker,

The key difference between answer choices (D) and (E) is the use of the terms "circumstance" and "strategy."

In this context, the circumstance is whether the patient has condition X or condition Y. We can infer that the treating physicians have no ability to change what condition afflicts the patient -- it's either X or Y, and there's nothing they can do about that circumstance.

By contrast, the strategy refers to what course of treatment the doctors will pursue -- how to tackle the circumstance of the patient having either condition X or Y.

Answer choice (D) refers to "a circumstance beyond one's control" -- which is the patient having either conditions X or Y -- and then goes on to say that the strategy the doctors choose should assume that the circumstance beyond their control is favorable.

Essentially, since we cannot know whether the patient has condition X or Y, and we only have a cure for condition Y, we should go ahead and treat for condition Y in the hopes that it works. It would be a shame to forego treating condition Y just because there's a possibility that the patient actually has condition X.

Answer choice (E) instead refers to changing the circumstances to fit the only successful strategy available (treating condition Y). Unfortunately, the doctors cannot change the circumstances -- the patient is either suffering from condition X or condition Y, and there's nothing the doctors can do to change that circumstance. Answer choice (E) describes something that is beyond the ability of the physicians to carry out.

I hope this makes sense!

Athena Dalton
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This. Makes. Perfect. Sense.

Ughhhh these LSAT writers are frustratingly clever.
They win this round but i will learn from it.
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I got D right the second time I looked at this q, but I initially chose C because I thought C was saying "When the soundness of a strategy (healing the patient) depends on the truth of a certain assumption (that the patient has disease Y), the first step in putting the strategy into effect (healing the patient) must be to test the truth of this assumption (that they have Y)"... and therefore to test one must give the treatment for Y.

is C incorrect bc there's no multi-step process--only one step, treating w Y's treatment. And that D requires assuming the "therefore" of testing with Y's treatment?

Thank you!
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Hi biskam,

Let's go back to the stimulus for the conclsion. The physician is talking about what we should assume (that the patient has Y), the physician is not telling us to test for the truth of that assumption. So this would do nothing to help us justify the conclusion as the question calls upon us to do.

Thanks for the great question and I hope this helps. :-D
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(A) sounds so close stating that “ it more important to cure the disease the determine” this seemed like it discribed the stimulus so what makes this wrong ?
Malila Robinson
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Hi Krobertson,
The problem with A is that it is unknown whether the disease will be treated. So for example, if the patient has X and the doctor treats for Y the disease (X) will not have been treated.
Hope that helps!