Medical Nihilism

Medical Nihilism

4.02 (64 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

This book argues that if we consider the ubiquity of small effect sizes in medicine, the extent of misleading evidence in medical research, the thin theoretical basis of many interventions, and the malleability of empirical methods, and if we employ our best inductive framework, then our confidence in medical interventions ought to be low.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 242 pages
  • 164 x 241 x 24mm | 544g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0198747047
  • 9780198747048
  • 784,807

Table of contents

1: Introduction
Part I. Concepts
2: Effectiveness of Medical Interventions
3: Effectiveness and Medicalization
4: Magic Bullets
Part II. Methods
5: Down with the Hierarchies
6: Malleability of Meta-Analysis
7: Assessing Medical Evidence
8: Measuring Effectiveness
9: Hollow Hunt for Harms
Part III. Evidence and Values
10: Bias and Fraud
11: Medical Nihilism
12: Conclusion
Appendix 1. Bayes' Theorem and Screening
Appendix 2. Measurement Scales
Appendix 3. Epistemic Proof of Superiority of RD over RR
Appendix 4. Decision-Theoretic Proof of Superiority of RD over RR
Appendix 5. Modeling the Measurement of Effectiveness
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Review Text

Ultimately, medical nihilism is an important topic in healthcare today, and the present book is a significant addition to that topic, which deserves wide readership and engagement. James A. Marcum, Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics
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Review quote

Ultimately, medical nihilism is an important topic in healthcare today, and the present book is a significant addition to that topic, which deserves wide readership and engagement. * James A. Marcum, Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics * a much needed call to temper our enthusiasm about the enterprise of medical therapy. * Mathew Mercuri, Metapsychology Online Reviews * This book is philosophy with a bite. Should we trust medicine? Stegenga shows there is much to be sceptical of. This is a scary thesis, all the more so because Stegenga's arguments are persuasive and his accounts of the empirical facts seem fair and well balanced. The underlying problem that the book tackles in medicine how to distinguish compelling science from chaff is not only at the heart of philosophy of science but at the heart of every science. Here Stegenga
shows how we can address this problem in a particular scientific context by understanding the fine details of research. This is first-rate philosophy applied to one of our most important sciences. * Nancy Cartwright, University of California San Diego & Durham University * Jacob Stegenga's book is timely as it arrives when many doctors feel medicine is in crisis. We have become unsure what medicine is for and have over-reached ourselves; and despite the appearance of evidence-based medicine 20 years ago there is deep anxiety now about the quality and completeness of the evidence that underpins medicine. The best doctors, I believe, have always been medical nihilists, aware that many new interventions are oversold, but the depth and
scope of this book can help doctors move beyond their present crisis. * Richard Smith, Former Chief Editor, BMJ *
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About Jacob Stegenga

Jacob Stegenga is a Lecturer in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. He received a Ph.D. from the University of California San Diego, and he has held fellowships at the University of Toronto and the Institute of Advanced Study at Durham University. His research focuses on philosophy of science, including methodological problems of medical research, conceptual questions in evolutionary biology, and fundamental topics in
reasoning and rationality.
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Rating details

64 ratings
4.02 out of 5 stars
5 31% (20)
4 47% (30)
3 14% (9)
2 8% (5)
1 0% (0)
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