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  1. Believing in Black Boxes: Must Machine Learning in Healthcare be Explainable to be Evidence-Based?Liam McCoy, Connor Brenna, Stacy Chen, Karina Vold & Sunit Das - forthcoming - Journal of Clinical Epidemiology.
    Objective: To examine the role of explainability in machine learning for healthcare (MLHC), and its necessity and significance with respect to effective and ethical MLHC application. Study Design and Setting: This commentary engages with the growing and dynamic corpus of literature on the use of MLHC and artificial intelligence (AI) in medicine, which provide the context for a focused narrative review of arguments presented in favour of and opposition to explainability in MLHC. Results: We find that concerns regarding explainability are (...)
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  2. Why Experimental Balance is Still a Reason to Randomize.David Teira & Marco Martinez - forthcoming - The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Experimental balance is usually understood as the control for the value of the conditions, other than the one under study, which are liable to affect the result of a test. We will discuss three different approaches to balance. ‘Millean balance’ requires to identify and equalize ex ante the value of these conditions in order to conduct solid causal inferences. ‘Fisherian balance’ measures ex post the influence of uncontrolled conditions through the analysis of variance. In ‘efficiency balance’ the value of the (...)
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  3. Probability and Informed Consent.Nir Ben-Moshe, Benjamin A. Levinstein & Jonathan Livengood - 2023 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 44 (6):545-566.
    In this paper, we illustrate some serious difficulties involved in conveying information about uncertain risks and securing informed consent for risky interventions in a clinical setting. We argue that in order to secure informed consent for a medical intervention, physicians often need to do more than report a bare, numerical probability value. When probabilities are given, securing informed consent generally requires communicating how probability expressions are to be interpreted and communicating something about the quality and quantity of the evidence for (...)
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  4. Approaching diagnostic messiness through spiderweb strategies: Connecting epistemic practices in the clinic and the laboratory.Helene Scott-Fordsmand & Karin Tybjerg - 2023 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 102 (C):12-21.
    Scientific and medical practice both relate to and differ from each other, as do discussions of how to handle decisions under uncertainty in the laboratory and clinic respectively. While studies of science have pointed out that scientific practice is more complex and messier than dominant conceptions suggest, medical practice has looked to the rigour of scientific and statistical methods to address clinical uncertainty. In this article, we turn to epistemological studies of the laboratory to highlight how clinical practice already has (...)
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  5. A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: Idealisations and the aims of polygenic scores.Davide Serpico - 2023 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 102 (C):72-83.
    Research in pharmacogenomics and precision medicine has recently introduced the concept of Polygenic Scores (PGSs), namely, indexes that aggregate the effects that many genetic variants are predicted to have on individual disease risk. The popularity of PGSs is increasing rapidly, but surprisingly little attention has been paid to the idealisations they make about phenotypic development. Indeed, PGSs rely on quantitative genetics models and methods, which involve considerable theoretical assumptions that have been questioned on various grounds. This comes with epistemological and (...)
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  6. Simulation of Trial Data to Test Speculative Hypotheses about Research Methods.Hamed Tabatabaei Ghomi & Jacob Stegenga - 2023 - In Kristien Hens & Andreas de Block (eds.), Advances in experimental philosophy of medicine. New York: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 111-128.
  7. What evidence for a cholera vaccine? Jaime Ferrán’s submissions to the Prix Bréant.David Teira & Clara Uzcanga - 2023 - Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences.
    This article analyses how the French Academy of Sciences assessed Jaime Ferrán’s cholera vaccine submitted for the Prix Bréant in the 1880s. Ferrán, a Spanish independent physician, discovered the treatment in 1884 and tried it on thousands of patients during the cholera outbreak in Valencia the following year. His evaluation sparked a controversy in Spain and abroad on the vaccine’s efficacy. The Bréant jury did not see any evidence for it in Ferrán’s submission, a decision usually interpreted in terms of (...)
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  8. Reviewing the Reproduction Number R in Covid-19 Models.Maria Cristina Amoretti & Elisabetta Lalumera - 2022 - Philosophy of Medicine 3 (1).
    Most of the epidemiological models of the Covid-19 pandemic contain the reproduction number as a parameter. In this article we focus on some shortcomings regarding its role in driving health policies and political decisions. First, we summarize what R is and what it is used for. Second, we introduce a three-question matrix for the evaluation of any construct or parameter within a model. We then review the main literature about R to highlight some of its shortcomings and apply to them (...)
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  9. Holism and Reductionism in the Illness/Disease Debate.Marco Buzzoni, Luigi Tesio & Michael T. Stuart - 2022 - In Shyam Wuppuluri & Ian Stewart (eds.), From Electrons to Elephants and Elections: Saga of Content and Context. Springer. pp. 743-778.
    In the last decades it has become clear that medicine must find some way to combine its scientific and humanistic sides. In other words, an adequate notion of medicine requires an integrative position that mediates between the analytic-reductionist and the normative-holistic tendencies we find therein. This is especially important as these different styles of reasoning separate “illness” (something perceived and managed by the whole individual in concert with their environment) and “disease” (a “mechanical failure” of a biological element within the (...)
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  10. Compte rendu : Béatrice Desvergne. De la biologie à la médecine personnalisée : mieux soigner demain?[REVIEW]Céline Deleuze & Charles Pence - 2022 - Lato Sensu: Revue de la Société de Philosophie des Sciences 9 (1):21-22.
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  11. Inconvenient Truth and Inductive Risk in Covid-19 Science.Eli I. Lichtenstein - 2022 - Philosophy of Medicine 3 (1):1-25.
    To clarify the proper role of values in science, focusing on controversial expert responses to Covid-19, this article examines the status of (in)convenient hypotheses. Polarizing cases like health experts downplaying mask efficacy to save resources for healthcare workers, or scientists dismissing “accidental lab leak” hypotheses in view of potential xenophobia, plausibly involve modifying evidential standards for (in)convenient claims. Societies could accept that scientists handle (in)convenient claims just like nonscientists, and give experts less political power. Or societies could hold scientists to (...)
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  12. Why homoeopathy is pseudoscience.Nikil Mukerji & Edzard Ernst - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-29.
    Homoeopathy is commonly recognised as pseudoscience. However, there is, to date, no systematic discussion that seeks to establish this view. In this paper, we try to fill this gap. We explain the nature of homoeopathy, discuss the notion of pseudoscience, and provide illustrative examples from the literature indicating why homoeopathy fits the bill. Our argument contains a conceptual and an empirical part. In the conceptual part, we introduce the premise that a doctrine qualifies as a pseudoscience if, firstly, its proponents (...)
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  13. Relaxing Mask Mandates in New Jersey: A Tale of Two Universities.Wesley J. Park - 2022 - Voices in Bioethics 8.
    The ethical question is whether university mask mandates should be relaxed. I argue that the use of face masks by healthy individuals has uncertain benefits, which potential harms may outweigh, and should therefore be voluntary. Systematic reviews by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections concluded that the use of face masks by healthy individuals in the community lacks effectiveness in reducing viral transmission based on moderate-quality evidence. The only two randomized controlled trials of face masks published (...)
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  14. 16 The logic of lockdowns: a game of modeling and evidence.Wesley J. Park - 2022 - BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine 27 (Suppl 1):A59.
    Lockdowns, or modern quarantines, involve the use of novel restrictive non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to suppress the transmission of COVID-19. In this paper, I aim to critically analyze the emerging history and philosophy of lockdowns, with an emphasis on the communication of health evidence and risk for informing policy decisions. I draw a distinction between evidence-based and modeling-based decision-making. I argue that using the normative framework of evidence-based medicine would have recommended against the use of lockdowns. I first review the World (...)
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  15. 175 An ethical analysis of evidence-based medicine.Wesley J. Park - 2022 - BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine 27 (Suppl 1):A48.
    Evidence-based medicine is a clinical decision-making framework which makes claims about what physicians ought to do. Though heralded as the cutting edge of medical science, evidence-based medicine is a value-laden normative theory which implicitly depends on substantive views regarding what is morally good or right. In this paper, I provide an ethical analysis of evidence-based medicine. I consider its normative underpinnings in three ethical theories: utilitarianism, Kantian deontology, and virtue ethics. In the face of uncertainty, evidence-based medicine endorses expected utility (...)
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  16. 143 An ethical analysis of evidence-based medicine.Wesley J. Park - 2022 - BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine 27 (Suppl 2):A12.
    Evidence-based medicine is a clinical decision making framework which makes claims about what physicians ought to do. Though heralded as the cutting edge of medical science evidence-based medicine is a value laden normative theory which implicitly depends on substantive views regarding what is morally good or right. In this paper, I provide an ethical analysis of evidence-based medicine. I consider its normative underpinnings in three ethical theories: utilitarianism, Kantian deontology, and virtue ethics. In the face of uncertainty, evidence-based medicine endorses (...)
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  17. COVID-19 and the unseen pandemic of child abuse.Wesley J. Park & Kristen A. Walsh - 2022 - BMJ Paediatrics Open 6 (1).
    For children, the collateral damage of the COVID-19 pandemic response has been considerable. In this paper, we use the framework of evidence-based medicine to argue that child abuse is another negative side effect of COVID-19 lockdowns. While it was certain that school closures would have profound social and economic costs, it remains uncertain whether they have any effect on COVID-19 transmission. There is emerging evidence that lockdowns significantly worsened child abuse on a global scale. Low-income and middle-income countries are particularly (...)
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  18. Evidence of Biological Mechanisms and Health Predictions: An Insight into Clinical Reasoning.Saúl Pérez-González & Elena Rocca - 2022 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 65 (1):89-105.
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  19. Cognitive biases and the predictable perils of the patient‐centric free‐market model of medicine.Michael J. Shaffer - 2022 - Metaphilosophy 53 (4):446-456.
    This paper addresses the recent rise of the use of alternative medicine in Western countries. It offers a novel explanation of that phenomenon in terms of cognitive and economic factors related to the free-market and patient-centric approach to medicine that is currently in place in those countries, in contrast to some alternative explanations of this phenomenon. Moreover, the paper addresses this troubling trend in terms of the serious harms associated with the use of alternative medical modalities. The explanatory theory defended (...)
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  20. Evidence of effectiveness.Jacob Stegenga - 2022 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 91 (C):288-295.
    There are two competing views regarding the role of mechanistic knowledge in inferences about the effectiveness of interventions. One view holds that inferences about the effectiveness of interventions should be based only on data from population-level studies (often statistical evidence from randomised trials). The other view holds that such inferences must be based in part on mechanistic evidence. The competing views are local principles of inference, the plausibility of which can be assessed by a more general normative principle of inference. (...)
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  21. Red herrings about relative measures: A response to Hoefer and Krauss.Jacob Stegenga - 2022 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 92 (C):56-59.
  22. Wishful Intelligibility, Black Boxes, and Epidemiological Explanation.Marina DiMarco - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (5):824-834.
    Epidemiological explanation often has a “black box” character, meaning the intermediate steps between cause and effect are unknown. Filling in black boxes is thought to improve causal inferences by making them intelligible. I argue that adding information about intermediate causes to a black box explanation is an unreliable guide to pragmatic intelligibility because it may mislead us about the stability of a cause. I diagnose a problem that I call wishful intelligibility, which occurs when scientists misjudge the limitations of certain (...)
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  23. Follow *the* science? On the marginal role of the social sciences in the COVID-19 pandemic.Simon Lohse & Stefano Canali - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (4):1-28.
    In this paper, we use the case of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe to address the question of what kind of knowledge we should incorporate into public health policy. We show that policy-making during the COVID-19 pandemic has been biomedicine-centric in that its evidential basis marginalised input from non-biomedical disciplines. We then argue that in particular the social sciences could contribute essential expertise and evidence to public health policy in times of biomedical emergencies and that we should thus strive for (...)
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  24. The Trade-off between Impartiality and Freedom in the 21st Century Cures Act.David Fraile Navarro, Niccolò Tempini & David Teira - 2021 - Philosophy of Medicine 2 (1).
    Randomized controlled trials test new drugs using various debiasing devices to prevent participants from manipulating the trials. But participants often dislike controls, arguing that they impose a paternalist constraint on their legitimate preferences. The 21st Century Cures Act, passed by US Congress in 2016, encourages the Food and Drug Administration to use alternative testing methods, incorporating participants’ preferences, for regulatory purposes. We discuss, from a historical perspective, the trade-off between trial impartiality and participants’ freedom. We argue that the only way (...)
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  25. Assessing the role of evidence of mechanisms in causal extrapolation.Saúl Pérez-González & Valeriano Iranzo - 2021 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 36 (2):211-228.
    Extrapolation of causal claims from study populations to other populations of interest is a problematic issue. The standard approach in experimental research, which prioritises randomized controlled trials and statistical evidence, is not devoid of difficulties. Granted that, it has been defended that evidence of mechanisms is indispensable for causal extrapolation. We argue, contrarily, that this sort of evidence is not indispensable. Nonetheless, we also think that occasionally it may be helpful. In order to clarify its relevance, we introduce a distinction (...)
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  26. Evidence, Defeasibility, and Metaphors in Diagnosis and Diagnosis Communication.Pietro Salis & Francesca Ervas - 2021 - Topoi 40 (2):327–341.
    The paper investigates the epistemological and communicative competences the experts need to use and communicate evidence in the reasoning process leading to diagnosis. The diagnosis and diagnosis communication are presented as intertwined processes that should be jointly addressed in medical consultations, to empower patients’ compliance in illness management. The paper presents defeasible reasoning as specific to the diagnostic praxis, showing how this type of reasoning threatens effective diagnosis communication and entails that we should understand diagnostic evidence as defeasible as well. (...)
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  27. Applying Evidential Pluralism to the Social Sciences.Yafeng Shan & Jon Williamson - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (4):1-27.
    Evidential Pluralism maintains that in order to establish a causal claim one normally needs to establish the existence of an appropriate conditional correlation and the existence of an appropriate mechanism complex, so when assessing a causal claim one ought to consider both association studies and mechanistic studies. Hitherto, Evidential Pluralism has been applied to medicine, leading to the EBM+ programme, which recommends that evidence-based medicine should systematically evaluate mechanistic studies alongside clinical studies. This paper argues that Evidential Pluralism can also (...)
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  28. The road from evidence to policies and the erosion of the standards of democratic scrutiny in the COVID-19 pandemic.Davide Vecchi & Giorgio Airoldi - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-5.
    The COVID-19 pandemic poses extraordinary public health challenges. In order to respond to such challenges, most democracies have relied on so-called ‘evidence-based’ policies, which supposedly devolve to science the burden of their justification. However, the biomedical sciences can only provide a theory-laden evidential basis, while reliable statistical data for policy support is often scarce. Therefore, scientific evidence alone cannot legitimise COVID-19 public health policies, which are ultimately based on political decisions. Given this inevitable input on policy-making, the risk of arbitrariness (...)
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  29. Medical Nihilism by Jacob Stegenga: What is the right dose? [REVIEW]Jonathan Fuller - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 81.
  30. The Illusion of Evidence-Based Medicine: Exposing the Crisis of Credibility in Clinical Research.Leemon McHenry & Jon Jureidini - 2020 - Adelaide SA, Australia: Wakefield Press.
    We live in an age alleged devoted to evidence-based medicine. Evidence-based medicine, however, depends on reliable data and if the data are largely, if not completely, manipulated by the manufacturer of pharmaceuticals, then the data are not reliable. Evidence-based medicine is an illusion. This book raises and attempts to answer the following questions: What are the ways in which the profit motive of industry undermines the integrity of science? How is science protected from corporate malfeasance in a capitalist economy? Our (...)
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  31. Experiential knowledge in clinical medicine: use and justification.Mark R. Tonelli & Devora Shapiro - 2020 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 41 (2):67-82.
    Within the evidence-based medicine construct, clinical expertise is acknowledged to be both derived from primary experience and necessary for optimal medical practice. Primary experience in medical practice, however, remains undervalued. Clinicians’ primary experience tends to be dismissed by EBM as unsystematic or anecdotal, a source of bias rather than knowledge, never serving as the “best” evidence to support a clinical decision. The position that clinical expertise is necessary but that primary experience is untrustworthy in clinical decision-making is epistemically incoherent. Here (...)
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  32. Randomized Controlled Trials for Diagnostic Imaging: Conceptual and Pratical Problems.Elisabetta Lalumera & Stefano Fanti - 2019 - Topoi 38 (2):395-400.
    We raise a problem of applicability of RCTs to validate nuclear diagnostic imaging tests. In spite of the wide application of PET and other similar techniques that use radiopharmaceuticals for diagnostic purposes, RCT-based evidence on their validity is sparse. We claim that this is due to a general conceptual problem that we call Prevalence of Treatment, which arises in connection with designing RCTs for testing any diagnostic procedure in the present context of medical research, and is particularly apparent in this (...)
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  33. An epistemological problem for integration in EBM.Sasha Lawson-Frost - 2019 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 25 (6):938-942.
    Evidence-based medicine (EBM) calls for medical practitioners to “integrate” our best available evidence into clinical practice. A significant amount of the literature on EBM takes this integration to be unproblematic, focusing on questions like how to interpret evidence and engage with patient values, rather than critically looking at how these features of EBM can be implemented together. Other authors have also commented on this gap in the literature, for example, identifying the lack of clarity about how patient preferences and evidence (...)
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  34. Warranted Diagnosis.David Limbaugh, David Kasmier, Werner Ceusters & Barry Smith - 2019 - In Proceedings of the International Conference on Biomedical Ontology (ICBO), Buffalo, NY. Buffalo: pp. 1-10.
    A diagnostic process is an investigative process that takes a clinical picture as input and outputs a diagnosis. We propose a method for distinguishing diagnoses that are warranted from those that are not, based on the cognitive processes of which they are the outputs. Processes designed and vetted to reliably produce correct diagnoses will output what we shall call ‘warranted diagnoses’. The latter are diagnoses that should be trusted even if they later turn out to have been wrong. Our work (...)
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  35. Rules versus Standards: What Are the Costs of Epistemic Norms in Drug Regulation?David Teira & Mattia Andreoletti - 2019 - Science, Technology, and Human Values 44 (6):1093-1115.
    Over the last decade, philosophers of science have extensively criticized the epistemic superiority of randomized controlled trials for testing safety and effectiveness of new drugs, defending instead various forms of evidential pluralism. We argue that scientific methods in regulatory decision-making cannot be assessed in epistemic terms only: there are costs involved. Drawing on the legal distinction between rules and standards, we show that drug regulation based on evidential pluralism has much higher costs than our current RCT-based system. We analyze these (...)
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  36. Drug Regulation and the Inductive Risk Calculus.Jacob Stegenga - 2017 - In Kevin Christopher Elliott & Ted Richards (eds.), Exploring Inductive Risk: Case Studies of Values in Science. New York: Oup Usa. pp. 17-36.
    Drug regulation is fraught with inductive risk. Regulators must make a prediction about whether or not an experimental pharmaceutical will be effective and relatively safe when used by typical patients, and such predictions are based on a complex, indeterminate, and incomplete evidential basis. Such inductive risk has important practical consequences. If regulators reject an experimental drug when it in fact has a favourable benefit/harm profile, then a valuable intervention is denied to the public and a company’s material interests are needlessly (...)
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  37. Statistical evidence and the reliability of medical research.Mattia Andreoletti & David Teira - 2016 - In Miriam Solomon, Jeremy R. Simon & Harold Kincaid (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Medicine. Routledge.
    Statistical evidence is pervasive in medicine. In this chapter we will focus on the reliability of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) conducted to test the safety and efficacy of medical treatments. RCTs are scientific experiments and, as such, we expect them to be replicable: if we repeat the same experiment time and again, we should obtain the same outcome (Norton 2015). The statistical design of the test should guarantee that the observed outcome is not a random event, but rather a real (...)
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  38. Evidence based or person centered? An ontological debate.Rani Lill Anjum - 2016 - European Journal for Person Centered Healthcare 4 (2):421-429.
    Evidence based medicine (EBM) is under critical debate, and person centered healthcare (PCH) has been proposed as an improvement. But is PCH offered as a supplement or as a replacement of EBM? Prima facie PCH only concerns the practice of medicine, while the contended features of EBM also include methods and medical model. I here argue that there are good philosophical reasons to see PCH as a radical alternative to the existing medical paradigm of EBM, since the two seem committed (...)
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  39. Evaluating Normative Epistemic Frameworks in Medicine: EBM and Casuistic Medicine.Emily Bingeman - 2016 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 22 (4):490-495.
    Since its inception in the early 1990s, evidence-based medicine (EBM) has become the dominant epistemic framework for Western medical practice. However, in light of powerful criticisms against EBM, alternatives such as casuistic medicine have been gaining support in both the medical and philosophical community. In the absence of empirical evidence in support of the claim that EBM improves patient outcomes, and in light of considerations that it is unlikely that such evidence will be forthcoming, another standard is needed to assess (...)
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  40. Mechanistic Information as Evidence in Decision-Oriented Science.José Luis Luján, Oliver Todt & Juan Bautista Bengoetxea - 2016 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 47 (2):293-306.
    Mechanistic information is used in the field of risk assessment in order to clarify two controversial methodological issues, the selection of inference guides and the definition of standards of evidence. In this paper we present an analysis of the concept of mechanistic information in risk assessment by recurring to previous philosophical analyses of mechanistic explanation. Our conclusion is that the conceptual analysis of mechanistic explanation facilitates a better characterization of the concept of mechanistic information. However, it also shows that the (...)
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  41. Epidemiological Explanations. [REVIEW]Olaf Dammann - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (3):509-519.
  42. How norms make causes.Maria Kronfeldner - 2014 - International Journal of Epidemiology 43:1707–1713.
    This paper is on the problem of causal selection and comments on Collingwood's classic paper "The so-called idea of causation". It discusses the relevance of Collingwood’s control principle in contemporary life sciences and defends that it is not the ability to control, but the willingness to control that often biases us towards some rather than other causes of a phenomenon. Willingness to control is certainly only one principle that influences causal selection, but it is an important one. It shows how (...)
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  43. Book Review Jeremy Howick , The Philosophy of Evidence-Based Medicine . Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell (2011), 248 pp., $61.95 (paper). [REVIEW]Alex Broadbent - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (1):165-168.
  44. Causal inference, mechanisms, and the Semmelweis case.Raphael Scholl - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (1):66-76.
    Semmelweis’s discovery of the cause of puerperal fever around the middle of the 19th century counts among the paradigm cases of scientific discovery. For several decades, philosophers of science have used the episode to illustrate, appraise and compare views of proper scientific methodology.Here I argue that the episode can be profitably reexamined in light of two cognate notions: causal reasoning and mechanisms. Semmelweis used several causal reasoning strategies both to support his own and to reject competing hypotheses. However, these strategies (...)
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  45. On the impartiality of early British clinical trials.David Teira - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (3):412-418.
    Did the impartiality of clinical trials play any role in their acceptance as regulatory standards for the safety and efficacy of drugs? According to the standard account of early British trials in the 1930s and 1940s, their impartiality was just rhetorical: the public demanded fair tests and statistical devices such as randomization created an appearance of neutrality. In fact, the design of the experiment was difficult to understand and the British authorities took advantage of it to promote their own particular (...)
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  46. Possibilities and limits of medical science: Debates over double‐blind clinical trials of intercessory prayer.Wendy Cadge - 2012 - Zygon 47 (1):43-64.
    . This article traces the intellectual history of scientific studies of intercessory prayer published in English between 1965 and the present by focusing on the conflict and discussion they prompted in the medical literature. I analyze these debates with attention to how researchers articulate the possibilities and limits medical science has for studying intercessory prayer over time. I delineate three groups of researchers and commentators: those who think intercessory prayer can and should be studied scientifically, those who are more skeptical (...)
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  47. EnviroGenomarkers: The Interplay Between Mechanisms and Difference Making in Establishing Causal Claims.Federica Russo & Jon Williamson - 2012 - Medicine Studies 3 (4):249-262.
    According to Russo and Williamson (Int Stud Philos Sci 21(2):157–170, 2007, Hist Philos Life Sci 33:389–396, 2011a, Philos Sci 1(1):47–69, 2011b ), in order to establish a causal claim of the form, ‘_C_ is a cause of _E_’, one typically needs evidence that there is an underlying mechanism between _C_ and _E_ as well as evidence that _C_ makes a difference to _E_. This thesis has been used to argue that hierarchies of evidence, as championed by evidence-based movements, tend to (...)
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  48. Spin doctors.Michael Loughlin - 2010 - The Philosophers' Magazine 51 (51):68-73.
    Evidence Based Medicine is a thesis about reasoning: it champions a certain way of thinking about practice, one based not on the particular, not on thecontext-specific, but on broad statistical concerns. It emphasises “the increasing realisation of the power of probabilistic reasoning” to establish “a new epidemiologic standard”. So the claims of the “EBMers” imply a whole position in medical epistemology. But authors seem unwilling to give a detailed exposition, let alone defence of this position to critics. Hence the accusations (...)
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  49. Health Behavior Change and Treatment Adherence: Evidence-Based Guidelines for Improving Healthcare.Leslie Martin, Kelly Haskard-Zolnierek & M. Robin DiMatteo - 2010 - Oxford University Press USA.
    Relationships, jobs, and health behaviors-these are what New Year's resolutions are made of. Every year millions resolve to adopt a better diet, exercise more, become fit, or lose weight but few put into practice the health behaviors they aspire to. For those who successfully begin, the likelihood that they will maintain these habits is low. Healthcare professionals recognize the importance of these, and other, health behaviors but struggle to provide their patients with the tools necessary for successful maintenance of their (...)
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  50. Profitable failure: antidepressant drugs and the triumph of flawed experiments.Linsey McGoey - 2010 - History of the Human Sciences 23 (1):58-78.
    Drawing on an analysis of Irving Kirsch and colleagues’ controversial 2008 article in PLoS [Public Library of Science] Medicine on the efficacy of SSRI antidepressant drugs such as Prozac, I examine flaws within the methodologies of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that have made it difficult for regulators, clinicians and patients to determine the therapeutic value of this class of drug. I then argue, drawing analogies to work by Pierre Bourdieu and Michael Power, that it is the very limitations of RCTs (...)
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