May 6th, Anna Bergqvist on “Methodological Particularism and Evidence Based Medicine​”

We are delighted to announce that Dr Anna Bergqvist from Manchester Metropolitan University will be our next speaker for the Philosophy of Medicine seminar series. Anna will give a paper titled ‘Methodological Particularism and Evidence Based Medicine​’.
When: May 6th, 2014, 13.30 – 15.00
Where: Virginia Woolf Building, Room 6.32

Abstract:
Moral particularism is a philosophical tradition that emphasizes the significance of context in understanding the dynamics of practical rationality and decision-making. According to particularists, moral thought and judgement neither need nor should be principle-based but rather requires the exercise of discernment on a case-by-case basis. This parallels recent developments in debates over the role of judgement in professional ethics and medical epistemology.
Academic researchers from disciplines as diverse as epidemiology and bioethics have attempted to devise models of clinical reasoning to assist practitioners in vital decision-making. In particular, the evidence-based medicine (EBM) movement has made significant impact on thinking and policy regarding clinical reasoning, promoting the application of research-evidence from randomised controlled trials to clinical decision-making. On a common view, medical diagnosis is a matter of getting the facts right, and values come into play in guiding treatment and management. There remains, however, a gap between the aspects of this model (and variants upon it) and the reality of decision-making in specific, complex and potentially unique cases. The implicit dichotomy between facts and values is at least questionable and arguably diagnosis is itself a process with irreducibly evaluative aspects. This paper focuses on certain key methodological questions that are raised by the distinctive particularist philosophical model as applied to medical epistemology. I argue that we can make progress by problematizing the use of concepts such as perspective and narrative in debates concerning evidence-based medicine (EBM) its person-centred rival (PCM).

For inquiries contact Dr Emma Bullock, the convenor of the series: emma.bullock@kcl.ac.uk

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