The test’s glasses and blind spots – seen through the confession and experience of a tester. (more…)
Written by Bente Prytz Mjølstad
(#3 of the Whole Person reflections series)
Have you ever thought about whether your regular GP knows more about you than your blood pressure or cholesterol levels? If so, might such knowledge be of any medical relevance?
Most of us visit our regular GP once or twice a year for more or less trivial complaints, and you are probably most interested in the GPs medical skills, and not so concerned about whether the doctor knows you as person or not. However, if you got seriously ill or had a chronic illness, would it still not matter? (more…)
What if one would weave a text by means of threads coloured by the recent topics of the on-going CauseHealth project. One thread would be causality, and how it is understood and applied in current biomedicine. Another would be ontology in the sense of how a human being and the human body is conceptualised in medicine and how this concept underpins the Western health care systems. A third thread would be methodology, and how the predominant methods for knowledge production, group based, randomised trials often including thousands of patients, might be radically challenged by the concept of N=1. A fourth thread would be stories in the sense of biographies before a person fell ill, and stories in the sense of testimonies of being ill – and how these have been systematically avoided as possible source of contamination in medical knowledge production. A fifth thread would then be knowledge condensates as these have grown both in number and normativity in the shape of clinical guidelines in all medical specialties during the latest years. Together, these threads can form quite different pictures, dependent on the frame applied. (more…)
CauseHealth recently organised a conference in Oxford called The Guidelines Challenge: Philosophy, Practice, Policy.
For those who missed the event, podcasts of the talks are available on our YouTube channel, and there is also a summary from each of the two days on Storify (day 1, day 2). There is also a Twitter hashtag, #GuidelinesChallenge.
When discussing the potentials and limitations of “Evidence Based Medicine”, it might be reasonable to begin by examining the premises inherent in the concept. It might be wise to question, for example, whether the use of the word “Evidence” in this model represents an improper appropriation of the term, as if it had a single, specific meaning. One might object: “What is evident? Well, that depends.” (more…)
Most healthcare professions claim to seek and treat the causes rather than the symptoms of disease. This started as a reaction to the medicine of the nineteenth century, which was still influenced by Humoral Theory and Paracelsus. Treatments were given to counter the symptoms patients were experiencing. Unfortunately, many of the heroic purgative and cathartic potions given, such as calomel, arsenic, mercury and opium, were more harmful than the diseases they were treating. It led Hahnemann, for example, to develop homoeopathy on the opposite principle that substances that caused similar symptoms to the condition and given in small doses were more effective – but that’s another debate. The focus today, apart, perhaps, from in palliative care, is on treating the cause, bypassing symptoms per se, or using them as monitors of healing. (more…)