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July 1, 2022

Professional Judgement in Clinical Practice (Part 3): A Better Alternative to Strong Evidence-Based Medicine

Mugerauer, Robert. (2021). Professional Judgement in Clinical Practice (Part 3): A Better Alternative to Strong Evidence-Based Medicine. Journal Of Evaluation In Clinical Practice, 27(3), 612 – 623.

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Parts 1 and 2 in this series of three articles have shown that and how strong evidence-based medicine has neither a coherent theoretical foundation nor creditable application to clinical practice. Because of its core commitment to the discredited positivist tradition it holds both a false concept of scientific knowledge and misunderstandings concerning clinical decision-making. Strong EBM continues attempts to use flawed adjustments to recover from the unsalvageable base view. Paper three argues that a promising solution is at hand if we can manage several modes of inclusion. A modified original, moderate version of EBM continues though usually overshadowed. As definitively laid out by Sackett in the 1990s, clinical decision making is intended to be person-centered, recognizing and integrating multiple modes of evidence and knowledge that have been marginalized: professional experience, illness narratives, and individual patients' values and preferences. Complementary resources are at hand: interpretative understanding and practice, such as philosophical anthropology, hermeneutical phenomenology, complexity theory, and phronetic practices respond to the major problems and open new possibilities. Phronesis is especially important in regard to public decision making. Within part 3 an additional tone necessarily occurs. While most of papers 1, 2, and 3 are written in the classical mode of contrasting the theoretical-logical and empirical evidence offered by contending positions bearing on the decision making and judgement in clinical practice, a shift occurs when considerations move beyond what is possible for clinical practitioners to accomplish. A different, discontinuous level of power operates in the trans-personal realm of instrumental policy, insurance, and hospital management practices. In this social-economic-political-ethical realm what happens in clinical practice today increasingly becomes a matter of what is done unto clinical practitioners, of what hampers their professional action and thus care of individual patients and clients.


Medical Policy; Judgment (psychology); Professions; Evidence-based Medicine; Patient-centered Care; Phenomenology; Decision Making In Clinical Medicine; Casuistry; Decision Making; Evidence‚Äêbased Medicine; Phronƒìsis; 2009 Cancer-control; Integrating Evidence; Decision-making; Health-care; G. H.; Mental-health; Tonelli; Challenge; Knowledge; Evidence‐ Based Medicine; Phronē Sis