The CauseHealth team at NMBU has published three papers over the summer. Here is a brief summary.
In ‘Unexpected findings and promoting monocausal claims, a cautionary tale’, published in Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, Samantha Copeland discusses the Norwegian rituximab trials, a case from research on chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). She argues that, when an unexpected finding occurs in clinical practice or medical research, the value of following up on that finding is to be found not in the projected value of a singular causal relationship inferred from the finding, but rather in the process of research that follows.
In the same issue, Stephen Mumford and Rani Lill Anjum have written ‘A philosophical argument against evidence-based policy’. They argue that the policy side of evidence-based medicine is a form of rule utilitarianism, which collapses under scrutiny. They conclude that a utility maximizer should always ignore the rule in a case where greater benefit can be secured through doing so. But this involves discarding the rule and instead considering each case individually, which is what the rule was supposed to discourage.
The latest CauseHealth publication is by Rani Lill Anjum, titled ‘Evidence based or person centered? An ontological debate’ in European Journal of Person Centered Healthcare. Here, she argues that person centered healthcare should be regarded as a radical alternative to the existing medical paradigm of EBM, since the two seem committed to conflicting ontologies. The paper attempts to make explicit some of the most fundamental assumptions that motivate EBM and person centered healthcare in order to show that the choice between them ultimately comes down to ontological preference.