Philosophy

A personal reflection on person-centred care and the role of stories in healthcare

 

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by Stephen Tyreman

This is an extract from a recent article written by Stephen Tyreman for the International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine. The full text can be found here.

Understanding what person-centred means is much more complex and multi-factorial than I once assumed. It is not merely a question of considering a person’s individual needs and concerns and putting them first. It is recognising that human beings face up to the challenge of illness, pain and disability differently from how we might understand and seek to correct a fault in a car, say. (more…)

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CAUSAL DISPOSITIONS IN RISK ANALYSIS

Capture 3Technology should make our life better, easier and safer. And yet, medicines, pesticides, nanotechnologies, biotechnologies et cetera, may represent a potential threat to health and environment. Some of the new technologies might be safe for most, but they could still be harmful for vulnerable individuals, communities or ecosystems. (more…)

DATA AND THEORY: NEW CAUSEHEALTH PAPER ABOUT THE PROBLEM OF WEIGHING COMPLEX EVIDENCE IN MEDICINE.

by Elena Rocca

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In the early 19th century, the Hungarian physician Ignaz Semmelweis noticed from his clinical experience that antiseptic routines in healthcare reduced infections at childbirth. After carrying out some studies on the matter, he proposed that the practice of disinfecting hands in the obstetrician ward of the Vienna General Hospital, where he worked at the time, would have reduced the incidence of puerperal fever. However, for that time this seemed as an implausible suggestion.  The germ theory of disease was still unheard of (Pasteur developed such theory only some decades later), and therefore there was no accepted understanding of how disease could be transmitted from one organism to the other. Semmelweis suggestion was therefore rejected by the medical community. (more…)

Evidence based medicine. What evidence, whose medicine, and on what basis?

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Rani Lill Anjum

The evidence-based medicine movement was intended as a methodological revolution. Its proponents suggested the best way to establish the effectiveness of treatment and new criteria to choose between available treatments without bias. Philosophically, however, these changes were not so innocent, at least not ontologically speaking. In bringing itself closer to science, medicine has become less suitable for dealing with complex illnesses, individual variations and, as I will argue, with causation in general. (more…)

What is the Guidelines Challenge?

Rani Lill Anjum

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.
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New CauseHealth paper about risk assessment of genetically modified plants

by Elena Rocca

One idea promoted by CauseHealth is that, when evaluating evidence, pre-existing theoretical frameworks count as much as the data. For instance, data from a certain trial assume a particular significance depending on the general background theoretical understanding we have when we interpret them. In this new CauseHealth article, Elena Rocca and Fredrik Andersen show that, when evaluating health risks related to the use of genetically modified plants in agriculture, different ontological starting points play an essential role for the final risk evaluation. (more…)