Argumentation and evidence

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 24 (4):283-299 (2003)
This essay explores the role of informal logicand its application in the context of currentdebates regarding evidence-based medicine. This aim is achieved through a discussion ofthe goals and objectives of evidence-basedmedicine and a review of the criticisms raisedagainst evidence-based medicine. Thecontributions to informal logic by StephenToulmin and Douglas Walton are explicated andtheir relevance for evidence-based medicine isdiscussed in relation to a common clinicalscenario: hypertension management. This essayconcludes with a discussion on the relationshipbetween clinical reasoning, rationality, andevidence. It is argued that informal logic hasthe virtue of bringing explicitness to the roleof evidence in clinical reasoning, and bringssensitivity to understanding the role ofdialogical context in the need for evidence inclinical decision making.
Keywords argumentation  evidence-based medicine  informal logic  medical epistemology
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DOI 10.1023/A:1026006801902
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Luis Flores (2015). Therapeutic Inferences for Individual Patients. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 21 (3):440-447.
Robin Nunn (2011). Mere Anecdote: Evidence and Stories in Medicine. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 17 (5):920-926.

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