In Wrong Medicine, Lawrence J. Schneiderman, M.D., and Nancy S. Jecker, Ph.D., address issues that have occupied the media and the courts since the time of Karen Ann Quinlan. The authors examine the ethics of cases in which medical treatment is offered--or mandated--even if a patient lacks the capacity to appreciate its benefit or if the treatment will still leave a patient totally dependent on intensive medical care. In exploring these timely issues Schneiderman and Jecker reexamine the doctor-patient relationship (...) and call for a restoration of common sense and reality to what we expect from medicine. They discuss economic, historical, and demographic factors that affect medical care and offer clear definitions of what constitutes futile medical treatment. And they address such topics as the limits on unwanted treatment, the shift from the "Age of Physician Paternalism" to the "Age of Patient Autonomy," health care rationing, and the adoption of new ethical standards. (shrink)
Even in the increasingly individualized American medical system, advocates of 'personalized medicine' claim that healthcare isn't individualized enough. With the additional glamour of new biotechnologies such as genetic testing and pharmacogenetics behind it, 'Me Medicine'-- personalized or stratified medicine-- appears to its advocates as the inevitable and desirable way of the future. Drawing on an extensive evidence base, this book examines whether these claims are justified. It goes on to examine an alternative tradition rooted in communitarian ideals, (...) that of the common good as a goal in medicine. (shrink)
Advances in medicine have brought us the stethoscope, artificial kidneys, and computerized health records. They have also changed the doctor-patient relationship. This book explores how the technologies of medicine are created and how we respond to the problems and successes of their use. Stanley Joel Reiser, MD, walks us through the ways medical innovations exert their influence by discussing a number of selected technologies, including the X-ray, ultrasound, and respirator. Reiser creates a new understanding of thinking about how (...) health care is practiced in the United States and thereby suggests new methods to effectively meet the challenges of living with technological medicine. As healthcare reform continues to be an intensely debated topic in America, Technological Medicine shows us the pros and cons of applying technological solutions health and illness. (shrink)
To practice medicine and ethics, physicians need wisdom and integrity to integrate scientific knowledge, patient preferences, their own moral commitments, and society's expectations. This work of integration requires a physician to pursue certain goals of care, determine moral priorities, and understand that conscience or integrity require harmony among a person's beliefs, values, reasoning, actions, and identity. But the moral and religious pluralism of contemporary society makes this integration challenging and uncertain. How physicians treat patients will depend on the particular (...) beliefs and values they and other health professionals bring to each instance of shared decision making. This book offers a framework for practical wisdom in medicine that addresses the need for integrity in the life of each health professional. In doing so, it acknowledges the challenge of moral pluralism and the need for moral dialogue and humility as professionals fulfil their obligations to patients, themselves, and society. (shrink)
Fredrik Svenaeus' book is a delight to read. Not only does he exhibit keen understanding of a wide range of topics and figures in both medicine and philosophy, but he manages to bring them together in an innovative manner that convincingly demonstrates how deeply these two significant fields can be and, in the end, must be mutually enlightening. Medicine, Svenaeus suggests, reveals deep but rarely explicit themes whose proper comprehension invites a careful phenomenological and hermeneutical explication. Certain philosophical (...) approaches, on the other hand - specifically, Heidegger's phenomenology and Gadamer's hermeneutics - are shown to have a hitherto unrealized potential for making sense of those themes long buried within Western medicine. Richard M. Zaner, Ann Geddes Stahlman Professor of Medical Ethics, Vanderbilt University. (shrink)
This book offers cutting edge research on the modifications and disruptions of bodily experience in the context of anxiety, depression, trauma, chronic illness, pain, and aging. It presents original contributions in applied phenomenology, biomedical ethics, and the use of medical technologies.
Philosophy of Medicine provides a fresh and comprehensive treatment of the topic. It offers a novel theory of the nature of medicine, and proposes a new attitude to medicine, aimed at improving the quality of debates between medical traditions and facilitating medicine's decolonization.
This volume addresses some of the most prominent questions in contemporary bioethics and philosophy of medicine: ‘liberal’ eugenics, enhancement, the normal and the pathological, the classification of mental illness, the relation between genetics, disease and the political sphere, the experience of illness and disability, and the sense of the subject of bioethical inquiry itself. All of these issues are addressed from a “continental” perspective, drawing on a rich tradition of inquiry into these questions in the fields of phenomenology, philosophical (...) hermeneutics, French epistemology, critical theory and post-structuralism. At the same time, the contributions engage with the Anglo-American debate, resulting in a fruitful and constructive conversation that not only shows the depth and breadth of continental perspectives in bioethics and medicine, but also opens new avenues of discussion and exploration. (shrink)
This work brings together Philip van der Eijk's previously published essays on the close connections that existed between medicine and philosophy throughout antiquity. Medical authors such as the Hippocratic writers, Diocles, Galen, Soranus and Caelius Aurelianus elaborated on philosophical methods such as causal explanation, definition and division and applied key concepts such as the notion of nature to their understanding of the human body. Similarly, philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle were highly valued for their contributions to medicine. (...) This interaction was particularly striking in the study of the human soul in its relation to the body, as illustrated by approaches to specific topics such as intellect, sleep and dreams, and diet and drugs. With a detailed introduction surveying the subject as a whole and an essay on Aristotle's treatment of sleep, this wide-ranging and accessible collection is essential reading for the student of ancient philosophy and science. (shrink)
Part of a symposium devoted to ‘Prediction, Understanding, and Medicine’, in which Alex Broadbent argues that the nature of medicine is determined by its competences, i.e., which things it can do well. He argues that, although medicine cannot cure well, it can do a good job of enabling people not only to understand states of the human organism and of what has caused them, but also to predict future states of it. From this Broadbent concludes that (...) class='Hi'>medicine is (at least in part) essentially a practice of understanding and predicting, not curing. In reply to this bold position, I mount two major criticisms. First, I maintain that the reasons Broadbent gives for doubting that medicine can cure provide comparable reason for doubting that medicine can provide an understanding; roughly, the best explanation of why medicine cannot reliably cure is that we still lack much understanding of health and disease. Second, I object to the claim that a practice is medical only if it facilitates understanding and prediction. Although Broadbent has brought to light certain desirable purposes of medicine that are under-appreciated, my conclusion is that he has not yet provided enough reason to think that understanding and prediction are essential to it. Instead of supposing that medicine has an essence, in fact, I suggest that its nature is best understood in terms of a property cluster. (shrink)
Trust relations in the health services have changed from asymmetrical paternalism to symmetrical autonomy-based participation, according to a common account. The promises of personalized medicine emphasizing empowerment of the individual through active participation in managing her health, disease and well-being, is characteristic of symmetrical trust. In the influential Kantian account of autonomy, active participation in management of own health is not only an opportunity, but an obligation. Personalized medicine is made possible by the digitalization of medicine with (...) an ensuing increased tailoring of diagnostics, treatment and prevention to the individual. The ideal is to increase wellness by minimizing the layer of interpretation and translation between relevant health information and the patient or user. Arguably, this opens for a new level of autonomy through increased participation in treatment and prevention, and by that, increased empowerment of the individual. However, the empirical realities reveal a more complicated landscape disturbed by information ‘noise’ and involving a number of complementary areas of expertise and technologies, hiding the source and logic of data interpretation. This has lead to calls for a return to a mild form of paternalism, allowing expertise coaching of patients and even withholding information, with patients escaping responsibility through blind or lazy trust. This is morally unacceptable, according to Kant’s ideal of enlightenment, as we have a duty to take responsibility by trusting others reflexively, even as patients. Realizing the promises of personalized medicine requires a system of institutional controls of information and diagnostics, accessible for non-specialists, supported by medical expertise that can function as the accountable gate-keeper taking moral responsibility required for an active, reflexive trust. (shrink)
Alternative medicine is hugely popular; about 40% of the US general population have used at least one type of alternative treatment in the past year, and in Germany this figure is around 70%. The money spent on AM is considerable: the global market is expected to reach nearly US $ 200 billion by 2025, with most of these funds coming directly out of consumers’ pockets. The reasons for this popularity are complex, but misinformation is certainly a prominent factor. The (...) media seem to have an insatiable appetite for the subject and often report uncritically on it. Misinformation about AM on the Internet is much more the rule than the exception. Consumers are thus being bombarded with misinformation on AM, and they are ill-protected from such misinformation and therefore prone to making wrong, unwise or dangerous therapeutic decisions, endangering their health and wasting their money. This book is a reference text aimed at guiding consumers through the maze of AM. The concept of the book is straightforward. It has two main parts. The first, short section provides essential background on AM, explaining in simple terms what is good, reliable evidence, and addressing other relevant issues like, for instance, the placebo response, informed consent, integrative medicine, etc. The second and main part consists of 150 short chapters, topically grouped and each dedicated to one single alternative therapeutic or diagnostic method. In each of them, seven critical points are raised. These points relate to issues that are important for consumers’ decisions whether it is worth trying the method in question. Restricting the discussion to just seven points means that issues must be prioritized to those themes which are most relevant in the context of each given modality. (shrink)
In this original and compelling book, Jeffrey P. Bishop, a philosopher, ethicist, and physician, argues that something has gone sadly amiss in the care of the dying by contemporary medicine and in our social and political views of death, as shaped by our scientific successes and ongoing debates about euthanasia and the "right to die"--or to live. __The Anticipatory Corpse: Medicine, Power, and the Care of the Dying__, informed by Foucault's genealogy of medicine and power as well (...) as by a thorough grasp of current medical practices and medical ethics, argues that a view of people as machines in motion--people as, in effect, temporarily animated corpses with interchangeable parts--has become epistemologically normative for medicine. The dead body is subtly anticipated in our practices of exercising control over the suffering person, whether through technological mastery in the intensive care unit or through the impersonal, quasi-scientific assessments of psychological and spiritual "medicine." The result is a kind of nihilistic attitude toward the dying, and troubling contradictions and absurdities in our practices. Wide-ranging in its examples, from organ donation rules in the United States, to ICU medicine, to "spiritual surveys," to presidential bioethics commissions attempting to define death, and to high-profile cases such as Terri Schiavo's, __The Anticipatory Corpse__ explores the historical, political, and philosophical underpinnings of our care of the dying and, finally, the possibilities of change. A ground-breaking work in bioethics, this book will provoke thought and argument for all those engaged in medicine, philosophy, theology, and health policy. "With extraordinary philosophical sophistication as well as knowledge of modern medicine, Bishop argues that the body that shapes the work of modern medicine is a dead body. He defends this claim decisively with with urgency. I know of no book that is at once more challenging and informative as __The Anticipatory Corpse. __To say this book is the most important one written in the philosophy of medicine in the last twenty-five years would not do it justice. This book is destined to change the way we think and, hopefully, practice medicine." --_Stanley Hauerwas, Duke Divinity School _ "Jeffrey Bishop carefully builds a detailed, scholarly case that medicine is shaped by its attitudes toward death. Clinicians, ethicists, medical educators, policy makers, and administrators need to understand the fraught relationship between clinical practices and death, and __The Anticipatory Corpse __is an essential text. Bishop's use of the writings of Michel Foucault is especially provocative and significant. This book is the closest we have to a genealogy of death." --_Arthur W. Frank, University of Calgary _ "Jeffrey Bishop has produced a masterful study of how the living body has been placed within medicine's metaphysics of efficient causality and within its commitment to a totalizing control of life and death, which control has only been strengthened by medicine's taking on the mantle of a bio-psycho-socio-spiritual model. This volume's treatment of medicine's care of the dying will surely be recognized as a cardinal text in the philosophy of medicine." --_H. Tristram Engelhardt, Jr., Rice University, Baylor College of Medicine_. (shrink)
Comics has always had a critical engagement with socio-political and cultural issues and hence evolved into a medium with a subversive power to challenge the status quo. Staying true to the criticality of the medium, graphic medicine critiques the exploitative and unethical practices in the field of healthcare, thereby creating a critical consciousness in the reader. In close reading select graphic pathographies such as Gabby Schulz's Sick, Emily Steinberg's Broken Eggs, Ellen Forney's Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo & Me and (...) Marisa Marchetto's Cancer Vixen, the present article delineates how graphic medicine interrogates the larger than life forces in the field of healthcare. Drawing specific instances from the aforementioned graphic texts, the essay demonstrates that graphic medicine scrutinizes the political economy of health under capitalism. In so doing, the article illustrates how the pharmaceutical corporations, insurance companies, medical technology, and healthcare corporations marketize and commoditize health in the neoliberal era. Finally, the article attempts to theorize how graphic pathographies, mediating subjective experiences, generate a new critical literacy through the conflation of the personal and the political in the verbovisual medium of comics. (shrink)
Much has been written about medicine and the market in recent years. This book is the first to include an assessment of market influence in both developed and developing countries, and among the very few that have tried to evaluate the actual health and economic impact of market theory and practices in a wide range of national settings. Tracing the path that market practices have taken from Adam Smith in the eighteenth century into twenty-first-century health care, Daniel Callahan and (...) Angela A. Wasunna add a fresh dimension: they compare the different approaches taken in the market debate by health care economists, conservative market advocates, and liberal supporters of single-payer or government-regulated systems. In addition to laying out the market-versus-government struggle around the world -- from Canada and the United States to Western Europe, Latin America, and many African and Asian countries -- they assess the leading market practices, such as competition, physician incentives, and co-payments, for their economic and health efficacy to determine whether they work as advertised. This timely and necessary book engages new dimensions of a development that has urgent consequences for the delivery of health care worldwide. (shrink)
Truth, Trust and Medicine investigates the notion of trust and honesty in medicine, and questions whether honesty and openness are of equal importance in maintaining the trust necessary in doctor-patient relationships. Jackson begins with the premise that those in the medical profession have a basic duty to be worthy of the trust their patients place in them. Yet questions of the ethics of withholding information and consent and covert surveillance in care units persist. This book boldly addresses these (...) questions which disturb our very modern notions of a patient's autonomy, self-determination and informed consent. (shrink)
Here is a thoroughly updated edition of a classic in palliative medicine. Two new chapters have been added to the 1991 edition, along with a new preface summarizing where progress has been made and where it has not in the area of pain management. This book addresses the timely issue of doctor-patient relationships arguing that the patient, not the disease, should be the central focus of medicine. Included are a number of compelling patient narratives. Praise for the first (...) edition "Well written. . .should be read by everyone in medical practice or considering a career in medicine."---JAMA. "Memorable passages, important ideas, and critical analysis. This is a book that clinicians and educators should read."---New England Journal of Medicine. (shrink)
Rudolf Steiner, the often undervalued, multifaceted genius of modern times, contributed much to the regeneration of culture. In addition to his philosophical teachings, he provided ideas for the development of many practical activities including education--both general and special--agriculture, medicine, economics, architecture, science, religion, and the arts. Today there are thousands of schools, clinics, farms, and many other organizations based on his ideas. Steiner's original contribution to human knowledge was based on his ability to conduct spiritual research, the investigation of (...) metaphysical dimensions of existence. With his scientific and philosophical training, he brought a new systematic discipline to the field, allowing for conscious methods and comprehensive results. A natural seer from childhood, he cultivated his spiritual vision to a high degree, enabling him to speak with authority on previously veiled mysteries of life. Topics include: true human nature as a basis for medical practice; the science of knowing; the mission of reverence; the four temperaments; the bridge between universal spirituality and the physical; the constellation of the supersensible bodies; the invisible human within us: the pathology underlying therapy; cancer and mistletoe, and aspects of psychiatry; case history questions: diagnosis and therapy; anthroposophic medicine in practice: and three case histories. (shrink)
Battle Hall Davies' brother Nick ran away from home when she was in high school. Now he has found her and she is going to stay with him for the summer before starting college. Battle discovers that neither she nor her brother is the person she thought they were.
Narrative Medicine in Hospice Care argues that the models of selfhood and care found in the work of Paul Ricoeur can serve as a framework for clinicians, caregivers, and end-of-life patients regardless of the patients’ verbal and cognitive capabilities.
The success of precision medicine depends on obtaining large amounts of information about at-risk populations. However, getting consent is often difficult. Why? In this commentary I point to the differentials in social status involved. These differentials are inevitable once personal information is surrendered, but are particularly intense when the studied populations are socioeconomically or socioculturally disadvantaged and/or ethnically stigmatized groups. I suggest how the deep distrust of the latter groups can be partially justified as a lack of confidence that (...) their core values or interests will sufficiently be taken into account. Hence, the ethical challenge here lies not in avoiding status differentials, but in dealing with them appropriately. Scientists should not assume trust from others but adopt a norm of “demonstrating trustworthiness”. (shrink)
This collection examines prevalent assumptions in moral reasoning which are often accepted uncritically in medical ethics. It introduces a range of perspectives from philosophy and medicine on the nature of moral reasoning and relates these to illustrative problems, such as New Reproductive Technologies, the treatment of sick children, the assessment of quality of life, genetics, involuntary psychiatric treatment and abortion. In each case, the contributors address the nature and worth of the moral theories involved in discussions of the relevant (...) issues, and focus on the types of reasoning which are employed. 'Medical ethics is in danger of becoming a subject kept afloat by a series of platitudes about respect for persons or the importance of autonomy. This book is a bold and imaginative attempt to break away from such rhetoric into genuine informative dialogue between philosophers and doctors, with no search after consensus.' Mary Warnock. (shrink)
This study is based on a critique of Western medicine derived from the proposition that any system of medicine must necessarily embody a mysterious quality. What is meant by mystery is an all encompassing element of indeterminancy and so of uncertainty in both the theory and practice of medicine.
What kind of knowledge is medical knowledge? Can medicine be explained scientifically? Is disease a scientific concept, or do explanations of disease depend on values? What is ‘evidence-based’ medicine? Are advances in neuroscience bringing us closer to a scientific understanding of the mind? The nature of medicine raises fundamental questions about explanation, causation, knowledge and ontology – questions that are central to philosophy as well as medicine. In this book Paul R. Thompson and Ross E. G. (...) Upshur introduce the fundamental issues in philosophy of medicine for those coming to the subject for the first time. They introduce and explain the following key topics: Understanding the physician-patient relationship: the phenomenology of the medical encounter. Models and theories in biology and medicine: what role do theories play in medicine? Are they similar to scientific theories? Randomised controlled trials: can scientific experiments be replicated in clinical medicine? What are the philosophical criticisms levelled at RCTs? The concept of evidence in medical research: what do we mean by ‘Evidence-based medicine?’ Should all medicine be based on evidence? Causation in medicine What do advances in neuroscience reveal about the relationship between mind and body? Defining health and disease: are explanations of disease objective or do they depend on values? Evolutionary medicine: what is the role of evolutionary biology in understanding medicine? Is it relevant? Extensive use of empirical examples and case studies is made throughout the book. These include debates about smoking and cancer, the use of placebos in randomised controlled trials and controversies about research into the causes of HIV and autism. This is an indispendable introduction to those teaching philosophy of medicine and philosophy of science. (shrink)
This superb account of the development of scientific research in the state of Baden places the growth of science in nineteenth century Germany within a broad social and economic context. The book analyses the progress of scientific research and its institutionalization in the state university system. Focusing on the experimental sciences, the book explores the introduction of the research ethic into the university medical curriculum, and the process by which laboratory science came to be an essential pedagogical tool in the (...) education of future citizens of the state. The social and economic changes that ultimately transformed Germany into a modern industrial state are also considered. It was within this setting that laboratory training, once considered inappropriate for university studies, grew in status, and that dissatisfaction with the overly theoretical education traditionally offered by the universities began to increase. Thus, much like computers today, the scientific method in the nineteenth century came to represent an instrument for teaching not only specific skills but also a particular way of approaching, analyzing, and solving the problems of an industrializing economy. This compelling volume will be of interest to historians of science, medicine, and European studies. (shrink)
Untoward injuries are unacceptably common in medical treatment, at times with tragic consequences for patients. The phrases 'an epidemic of error' and 'the medical toll' have been coined to describe this problem of 'iatrogenic harm', which it has been suggested may have contributed to 98,000 deaths per year in the US. Some of these incidents are the result of negligence on the part of doctors, but more usually they are no more than inevitable concomitants of the complexity of modern healthcare. (...) This book is fundamentally about distinguishing the former from the latter. Although medicine is used as the book's primary example, the points made apply equally to aviation, industrial activities, and many other fields of human endeavour. The book advocates a more informed alternative to the blaming culture which has increasingly come to dominate our response to accidents, whether in the medical field or elsewhere. (shrink)
Modern medical ethics in the English-speaking world is commonly thought to derive from the medical philosophy of the Scotsman John Gregory and his younger associates, the English Dissenter Thomas Percival and the American Benjamin Rush . This book is the first extensive study of this suggestion. Dr Haakonssen shows how the three thinkers combined Francis Bacon's and the Scottish Enlightenment's ideas of the science of morals and the morals of science. She demonstrates how their medical ethics was a successful adaptation (...) of traditional moral ideas to the dramatically changing medical world especially the voluntary hospital. In accounting for the dynamics of this process, she rejects the anachronism that modern medical ethics was a new paradigm. (shrink)
While ethicists have directed much attention to controversial biomedical issues--including euthanasia, abortion, and genetic engineering--they have largely ignored the less obvious, but more pervasive, everyday ethical problems faced by family physicians. Ethical Issues in Family Medicine addresses these problems, offering an ethics that reflects the distinctive features of family practice, and helping family physicians to appreciate the extent to which ethical issues influence their practice.
_Philosophy of Molecular Medicine: Foundational Issues in Theory and Practice_ aims at a systematic investigation of a number of foundational issues in the field of molecular medicine. The volume is organized around four broad modules focusing, respectively, on the following key aspects: What are the nature, scope, and limits of molecular medicine? How does it provide explanations? How does it represent and model phenomena of interest? How does it infer new knowledge from data and experiments? The essays (...) collected here, authored by prominent scientists and philosophers of science, focus on a handful of mainstream topics in the philosophical literature, such as _causation_, _explanation_, _modeling_, and _scientific inference_. These previously unpublished contributions shed new light on these traditional topics by integrating them with problems, methods, and results from three prominent areas of contemporary biomedical science: _basic research_, _translational_ and _clinical research_, and _clinical practice_. (shrink)
This volume introduces readers to the main philosophical issues of measurement in medicine, illustrating the connections between the natural and social sciences by integrating essays on causation, measuring instruments and issues of measurement and policy.
This essay discusses the role of new mechanical devices put forward in the seventeenth century in anatomy and pathology, showing how several of those devices were promptly deployed in anatomical investigations. I also discuss the role of dead bodies as boundary objects between living bodies and machines, highlighting their problematic status in experimentation and vivisection.
The first part of a symposium devoted to Alex Broadbent's essay titled ‘Prediction, Understanding and Medicine’, this article notes the under-development of a variety of issues in the philosophy of medicine that transcend bioethics and the long-standing debates about the nature of health/illness and of evidence-based medicine. It also indicates the importance of drawing on non-Western, and particularly African, traditions in addressing these largely metaphysical and epistemological matters.
In Medicine, Society, and Faith in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds Darrel Amundsen explores the disputed boundaries of medicine and Christianity by focusing on the principle of the sanctity of human life, including the duty to treat or attempt to sustain the life of the ill. As he examines his themes and moves from text to context, Amundsen clarifies a number of Christian principles in relation to bioethical issues that are hotly debated today. In his examination of the (...) moral stance of the earliest syphilographers, for example, he finds insights into the ethical issues surrounding the treatment of AIDS, which he believes has its closest historical antecedent not in plague but in syphilis. He also shows that the belief that all healing comes from God, whether directly, through prayer, or through the use of medicine -- a sentiment commonly held by contemporary Christians -- cannot be accurately attributed to any extant source from the patristic period. Indeed, all the Church Fathers were convinced that healing sometimes came from evil sources: Satan and his demons were able to heal, for example, and Asclepius was a demon "to be taken very seriously indeed.". (shrink)
Why is understanding causation so important in philosophy and the sciences? Should causation be defined in terms of probability? Whilst causation plays a major role in theories and concepts of medicine, little attempt has been made to connect causation and probability with medicine itself. Causality, Probability, and Medicine is one of the first books to apply philosophical reasoning about causality to important topics and debates in medicine. Donald Gillies provides a thorough introduction to and assessment of (...) competing theories of causality in philosophy, including action-related theories, causality and mechanisms, and causality and probability. Throughout the book he applies them to important discoveries and theories within medicine, such as germ theory; tuberculosis and cholera; smoking and heart disease; the first ever randomized controlled trial designed to test the treatment of tuberculosis; the growing area of philosophy of evidence-based medicine; and philosophy of epidemiology. This book will be of great interest to students and researchers in philosophy of science and philosophy of medicine, as well as those working in medicine, nursing and related health disciplines where a working knowledge of causality and probability is required. (shrink)
The issue of how to incorporate the individual's first‐hand experience of illness into broader medical understanding is a major question in medical theory and practice. In a philosophical context, phenomenology, with its emphasis on the subject's perception of phenomena as the basis for knowledge and its questioning of naturalism, seems an obvious candidate for addressing these issues. This is a review of current phenomenological approaches to medicine, looking at what has motivated this philosophical approach, the main problems it faces (...) and suggesting how it might become a useful philosophical tool within medicine, with its own individual, but interrelated, contribution to make to current medical debates. After the general background, there is a brief summary of phenomenological ideas and their current usage in a medical context. Next is a critique of four key claims within current phenomenological medical works, concerning both the role phenomenology plays and the supposedly clear divide between phenomenology and other approaches. There are significant problems within these claims, largely because they overlook the complexity of the questions they consider. Finally, there is some more in‐depth examination of phenomenology itself and the true complexity of phenomenological debate concerning subjectivity. The aim is to show that it will be both more productive and truer to phenomenology itself, if we use phenomenology as a philosophical method for explicating and gaining deeper understanding of complex and fundamental problems, which are central to medicine, rather than as providing simple, but flawed solutions. (shrink)
The use of evidence in medicine is something we should continuously seek to improve. This book seeks to develop our understanding of evidence of mechanism in evaluating evidence in medicine, public health, and social care; and also offers tools to help implement improved assessment of evidence of mechanism in practice. In this way, the book offers a bridge between more theoretical and conceptual insights and worries about evidence of mechanism and practical means to fit the results into evidence (...) assessment procedures. (shrink)
This book offers a multidisciplinary look at the much-debated concept of “personalized medicine”. By combining a humanistic and a scientific approach, the book builds up a multidimensional way to understand the limits and potentialities of a personalized approach in medicine and healthcare. The book reflects on personalized medicine and complex diseases, the relationship between personalized medicine and the new bio-technologies, personalized medicine and personalized nutrition, and on some ethical, political, economic, and social implications of personalized (...)medicine. This volume is of interest to researchers from several disciplines including philosophy, bio-medicine, and the social sciences. (shrink)
Medicine in America, argues Professor Howard Stein, is not merely the product of a biomedical model, but rather an intricate human culture. In this ethnographic study of the American medical system, Dr. Stein uses anthropological, small-group, and psychoanalytic paradigms to interpret diverse and often hidden aspects of medical culture in the United States.Based on two decades of teaching and counseling physicians, Dr. Stein's case studies allow us to hear doctors speak candidly about themselves, their feelings, their fears of failure, (...) their interactions with nurses and other hospital staff, and the ways in which they sometimes internalize the problems of their patients. We also learn how doctors come to label their clients as “good” or “bad” patients, and we see how these labels can affect a patient's care. In addition, Dr. Stein explores the rich symbolism of money in a profession that has great difficulty discussing financial concerns with its clients.Taking the reader on an odyssey through the socialization process of becoming a physician in America, Dr. Stein links the culture of medicine with both the psychodynamics of individual practitioners and the currents of American society at large. He uncovers a rich vein of moralism lying beneath medicine's official position of scientific neutrality and finds that American values such as activism and mastery, and metaphors from competitive sports, warfare, and technology pervade clinical decisionmaking, treatment, and education.This is a fascinating study of a complex culture within our society, a book that will interest scholars, students, and the general reader. (shrink)
This volume in the King's College Studies in Medical Law and Ethics series covers a wide range of issues while focusing on a series of related themes. Contributors to this collection of essays include doctors, lawyers, theologians and philosophers and their viewpoints will be of immense interest to a wide range of professionals in related fields and/or students of medicine, philosophy and nursing.
ABSTRACT: Abstract Most modern knowledge is not science. The physical sciences have successfully validated theories to infer they can be used universally to predict in previously unexperienced circumstances. According to the conventional conception of science such inferences are falsified by a single irregular outcome. And verification is by the scientific method which requires strict regularity of outcome and establishes cause and effect. -/- Medicine, medical research and many “soft” sciences are concerned with individual people in complex heterogeneous populations. These (...) populations cannot be tested to demonstrate strict regularity of outcome in every individual. Neither randomised controlled trials nor observational studies in medicine are science in the conventional conception. Establishing and using medical and other “soft science” theories cannot be scientific. It requires conceptually different means: requiring expert judgement applying all available evidence in the relevant available factual matrix. -/- The practice of medicine is observational. Prediction of outcomes for the individual requires professional expertise applying available medical knowledge and evidence. Expertise in any profession can only be acquired through experience. Prior cases are the fundament of knowledge and expertise in medicine. Case histories, studies and series can provide knowledge of extremely high reliability applicable to establishing reliable general theories and falsifying others. Their collation, study and analysis should be a priority in medicine. Their devaluation as evidence, the failure to apply their lessons, the devaluation of expert professional judgement and the attempt to emulate the scientific method are all historic errors in the theory and practice of modern medicine. (shrink)
Over the past decades, public trust in medical professionals has steadily declined. This decline of trust and its replacement by ever tighter regulations is increasingly frustrating physicians. However, most discussions of trust are either abstract philosophical discussions or social science investigations not easily accessible to clinicians. The authors, one a surgeon-turned-philosopher, the other an analytical philosopher working in medical ethics, joined their expertise to write a book which straddles the gap between the practical and theoretical. Using an approach grounded in (...) the methods of conceptual analysis found in analytical philosophy which also draws from approaches to medical diagnosis, the authors have conceived an internally coherent and comprehensive definition of trust to help elucidate the concept and explain its decline in the medical context. This book should appeal to all interested in the ongoing debate about the decline of trust - be it as medical professionals, medical ethicists, medical lawyers, or philosophers. (shrink)