a cure worse than the ailment

a cure worse than the ailment

1. Literally, any drug, surgery, procedure, etc., used to cure or mitigate a disease or ailment that ultimately leads to worse symptoms than the original condition caused or might have caused. While the drug has proven to be effective in combating the ailment, it has also been shown to ravage the body in other, more devastating ways. It seems at this point like a cure worse than the ailment.
2. By extension, a solution to a problem or crisis that leads to worse conditions overall than the original problem did or would have. The board of directors' plan to deal with the economic downturn is to reduce the entire company to a skeleton crew. I know drastic action needs to be taken, but we want to make sure this isn't a cure worse than the ailment! I know you want to stimulate the financial sector, but repealing federal regulations would be a cure worse than the ailment.
See also: ailment, cure, worse
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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