Expert and non-expert knowledge in medical practice

One problematic aspect of the rationality of medical practice concerns the relation between expert knowledge and non-expert knowledge. In medical practice it is important to match medical knowledge with the self-knowledge of the individual patient. This paper tries to study the problem of such matching by describing a model for technological paradigms and comparing it with an ideal of technological rationality. The professionalised experts tend to base their decisions and actions mostly on medical knowledge while the rationality of medicine also involves just as important elements of the personal evaluation and knowledge of the patients. Since both types of knowledge are necessary for rational decisions, the gap between the expert and the non-expert has to be bridged in some way. A solution to the problem is suggested in terms of pluralism, with the patient as ultimate decision-maker.
Keywords competence  decision  medical practice  professionalism  rationality  technological paradigm  usefulness
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DOI 10.1023/A:1026446214010
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