, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 125-128
Date: 29 Sep 2011

Jeremy Howick: The Philosophy of Evidence-Based Medicine

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Since its introduction several decades ago, evidence-based medicine (EBM) has often served to polarize the medical community. On the one hand are clinicians who maintain that clinical expertise and pathophysiology are adequate for practicing effective clinical medicine, while on the other hand are champions of EBM who claim that medical practice should be based solely on the best evidence currently available, especially evidence obtained from randomized clinical trials (RCTs). Indeed, proponents of EBM claim that EBM represents a Kuhnian revolution with the replacement of the older pathophysiology paradigm with the newer, incommensurate evidence-based paradigm. Until now, there has been no sustained philosophical analysis of EBM. In this book, Jeremy Howick, a philosopher of medicine at the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine, University of Oxford, provides a considerably insightful analysis of the philosophical issues surrounding EBM and the debate it has aroused among medical pundits ...