What can you do when parents disagree about medical care?
In this case (friends of mine), the mother is undiscriminating about medical care. She forms highly speculative ideas about what might be wrong with children and rushes them to the doctor on any medical concern. She accepts the recommendations of doctors completely uncritically. This has led to situations where the children have been prescribed medicine in an indiscriminate manner. For example, in one case a GP prescribed a powerful anti-protozoan with potentially serious effects without making any diagnosis (a simple urine test had come back negative). The GP stated, "this will clean out the system". We are talking country doctors here.
The father is the exact opposite. His impulse is self-treat and use doctors as a last resort. When going to a doctor he wants a positive and sure diagnosis to be made before drugs are administered, especially potentially dangerous drugs. In many cases he wants second opinions, or to take the children to specialist. So, he is measure nine times before cutting once.
This polarity is causing serious strife and arguments. Worse, the mother is taking the children secretly to doctors and trying to get the children to take medications secretly without the father knowing and tells the children not to tell their father what they are doing. Of course, the children inform him anyway.
I know both of them, but only the father talks to me. I have advised him to just keep trying to negotiate, but I can foresee that the situation could continue to get worse. What advice (other than that already given) should I give?