David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Heart 96 (1):15-18 (2010)
Doctors and dentists have traditionally used antibiotic prophylaxis in certain patient groups in order to prevent infective endocarditis (IE). New guidelines, however, suggest that the risk to patients from using antibiotics is higher than the risk from IE. This paper analyses the relative risks of prescribing and not prescribing antibiotic prophylaxis against the background of Pascal’s Wager, the infamous assertion that it is better to believe in God regardless of evidence, because of the prospective benefits should He exist. Many doctors seem to believe the parallel proposition that it is better to prescribe antibiotics, regardless of evidence, because of the prospective benefit conferred upon the patient. This has been called the “no lose philosophy” in medicine: better safe than sorry, even if the evidence inconveniently suggests that following this mantra is potentially more likely to result in sorry than safe. It transpires that, just as Pascal’s Wager fails to convince because of a lack of evidence to support it and the costs incurred by trying to believe, so the “belts and braces” approach of prescribing antibiotic prophylaxis is unjustifiable given the actual evidence of potential risk and benefit to the patient. Ultimately, there is no no-lose if your clinical decisions, like Pascal’s Wager, are based on faith rather than evidence.
|Keywords||Medical ethics Cardiology Pascal's wager Decision theory Risk|
|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
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Christopher Toner (2006). Pascal's First Wager Reconsidered. International Philosophical Quarterly 46 (1):75-90.
Virgil Martin Nemoianu (2010). The Insufficiency of the Many Gods Objection to Pascal's Wager. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 84 (3):513-530.
Jeff Jordan (1998). Pascal's Wager Revisited. Religious Studies 34 (4):419-431.
Volker Dieringer (2009). Is a Jamesian Wager the Only Safe Bet? On Jeff Jordan's New Book on Pascal's Wager. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 91 (2):237-247.
Greg Janzen (2011). Pascal's Wager and the Nature of God. Sophia 50 (3):331-344.
Graham Oppy (1996). Pascal's Wager is a Possible Bet (but Not a Very Good One): Reply to Harmon Holcomb III. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 40 (2):101 - 116.
Graham Oppy (1991). On Rescher on Pascal's Wager. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 30 (3):159 - 168.
Bradley Monton (2011). Mixed Strategies Can't Evade Pascal's Wager. Analysis 71 (4):642-645.
Alan Hájek, Pascal's Wager. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Added to index2009-10-14
Total downloads29 ( #65,832 of 1,140,035 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #157,514 of 1,140,035 )
How can I increase my downloads?