David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
BMC Medical Ethics 6 (1):1-9 (2005)
Background The increase in empirical methods of research in bioethics over the last two decades is typically perceived as a welcomed broadening of the discipline, with increased integration of social and life scientists into the field and ethics consultants into the clinical setting, however it also represents a loss of confidence in the typical normative and analytic methods of bioethics. Discussion The recent incipiency of "Evidence-Based Ethics" attests to this phenomenon and should be rejected as a solution to the current ambivalence toward the normative resolution of moral problems in a pluralistic society. While "evidence-based" is typically read in medicine and other life and social sciences as the empirically-adequate standard of reasonable practice and a means for increasing certainty, I propose that the evidence-based movement in fact gains consensus by displacing normative discourse with aggregate or statistically-derived empirical evidence as the "bottom line". Therefore, along with wavering on the fact/value distinction, evidence-based ethics threatens bioethics' normative mandate. The appeal of the evidence-based approach is that it offers a means of negotiating the demands of moral pluralism. Rather than appealing to explicit values that are likely not shared by all, "the evidence" is proposed to adjudicate between competing claims. Quantified measures are notably more "neutral" and democratic than liberal markers like "species normal functioning". Yet the positivist notion that claims stand or fall in light of the evidence is untenable; furthermore, the legacy of positivism entails the quieting of empirically non-verifiable considerations like moral claims and judgments. As a result, evidence-based ethics proposes to operate with the implicit normativity that accompanies the production and presentation of all biomedical and scientific facts unchecked. Summary The "empirical turn" in bioethics signals a need for reconsideration of the methods used for moral evaluation and resolution, however the options should not include obscuring normative content by seemingly neutral technical measure
|Keywords||info:mesh/Evidence-Based Medicine info:mesh/Cultural Diversity info:mesh/Bioethics info:mesh/Decision Making info:mesh/Infant, Premature info:mesh/Euthanasia, Passive info:mesh/Humans Humans Euthanasia, Passive Methods Decision Making Evidence-Based Medicine Science Empirical Research Cultural Diversity Bioethical Issues Bioethics Infant, Newborn Infant, Premature info:mesh/Methods info:mesh/Bioethical Issues info:mesh/Science info:mesh/Empirical Research info:mesh/Infant, Newborn|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Bert Molewijk & Guy A. M. Widdershoven (2012). Don't Solve the Issues! Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 21 (04):448-456.
A. H. G. van Elteren, T. A. Abma & G. A. M. Widdershoven (2012). Empirical Ethics Within Rapidly Changing Practices. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 21 (04):493-504.
Craig Fry (2009). How to Build a Theory About Empirical Bioethics: Acknowledging the Limitations of Empirical Research. American Journal of Bioethics 9 (6-7):83-85.
Mona Gupta (2010). From Evidence‐Based Care to the Standard of Care. Commentary on Kerridge (2009) Ethics and EBM: Acknowledging Difference, Accepting Difference, and Embracing Politics. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 16 (2):374-375.
Michael Loughlin (2011). Criticizing the Data: Some Concerns About Empirical Approaches to Ethics. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 17 (5):970-975.
Similar books and articles
Maya J. Goldenberg (2010). Perspectives on Evidence-Based Healthcare for Women. Journal of Women's Health 19 (7):1235-1238.
Richard E. Ashcroft (2003). Constructing Empirical Bioethics: Foucauldian Reflections on the Empirical Turn in Bioethics Research. [REVIEW] Health Care Analysis 11 (1):3-13.
Simon A. Cole, Toward Evidence-Based Evidence: Supporting Forensic Knowledge Claims in the Post-Daubert Era.
Maya J. Goldenberg (2012). Innovating Medical Knowledge: Undestanding Evidence-Based Medicine as a Socio-Medical Phenomenon. In Nikolaos Sitaras (ed.), Evidence-Based Medicine: Closer to Patients or Scientists? InTech Open Science.
Brian Hazelton Walsh (2010). The Spatialisation of Disease: Foucualt and Evidence-Based Medicine (Ebm). [REVIEW] Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 7 (1):31-42.
Erica Zarkovich & R. E. G. Upshur (2002). The Virtues of Evidence. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 23 (4-5):403-412.
R. E. G. Upshur (2001). The Ethics of Alpha: Reflections on Statistics, Evidence and Values in Medicine. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 22 (6):565-576.
Maya J. Goldenberg (2006). On Evidence and Evidence-Based Medicine: Lessons From the Philosophy of Science. Social Science and Medicine 62 (11):2621-2632.
Maya J. Goldenberg (2009). Iconoclast or Creed? Objectivism, Pragmatism, and the Hierarchy of Evidence. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 52 (2):168-187.
Leah Mcclimans (2009). Elective Twin Reductions: Evidence and Ethics. Bioethics 24 (6):295-303.
Hillel D. Braude (2009). Clinical Intuition Versus Statistics: Different Modes of Tacit Knowledge in Clinical Epidemiology and Evidence-Based Medicine. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 30 (3):181-198.
Tone Kvernbekk (2011). The Concept of Evidence in Evidence-Based Practice. Educational Theory 61 (5):515-532.
Eleonora Montuschi (2009). Questions of Evidence in Evidence-Based Policy. Axiomathes 19 (4):425-439.
Added to index2010-11-17
Total downloads12 ( #151,141 of 1,692,924 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #59,677 of 1,692,924 )
How can I increase my downloads?