Argumentation and evidence

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 24 (4):283-299 (2003)

Abstract

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.

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References found in this work

Toward a Theory of Medical Fallibility.S. Gorovitz & A. MacIntyre - 1976 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 1 (1):51-71.
What Is Reasoning? What Is an Argument?Douglas N. Walton - 1990 - Journal of Philosophy 87 (8):399-419.
Seven Characteristics of Medical Evidence.Ross E. G. Upshur - 2000 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 6 (2):93-97.
Examining the Assumptions of Evidence‐Based Medicine.Geoffrey R. Norman - 1999 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 5 (2):139-147.

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