As part of our weekly Speaker Series, the Department of Philosophy invites you to join us in welcoming Dr. Mathew Mercuri (McMaster / U of T). Links for all Department of Philosophy Speaker Series talks are distributed through an email distribution list. If you would like to be added to this list, and hence to receive regular email notifications and reminders about Philosophy talks, please email the Philosophy Department office (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you would like to attend just this one talk, you may also email the philosophy office (same email address) to request a meeting link.
Talk title: “Informing Clinical Practice Through Evidence-Based Clinical Recommendations: Lessons from Philosophy of Science”
Abstract: Clinical decisions about how to manage patient care are informed by several factors, such evidence from clinical trials, patient perspectives, economic and resource impacts, and equity. These factors are recognized by the Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) movement, and are part of frameworks for developing evidence-based recommendations for how to manage care, such as clinical practice guidelines. The GRADE framework, developed by the architects of EBM, is a widely adopted tool for developing clinical recommendations. GRADE can be seen as both a theory of evidence and providing a normative approach to clinical practice. In this presentation, i will briefly review the GRADE framework and examine it through a Philosophy of Science lens. This examination will raise questions about what makes observations (e.g., from clinical research) evidence for a claim (e.g., therapeutic effectiveness), how clinicians apply that evidence to care for patients, and provide lessons about what impact such commitments about evidence might have on patient care.