chapter  6
Ethics, philosophy and evidence-based medicine
WithTony Lockett
Pages 9

This chapter explores the outlook on evidence-based medicine (EBM) and explains why it gives cause for concern. EBM is an extension of the empirical system of thought and falls into a category containing positivism. The problems of positivism have not made the theory on which it is based less attractive. Indeed, it has been modified as these problems have arisen, and it is supported as a verification principle; that is, only those thoughts and actions that can be verified against sensory data can be held to be true. C. J. Misak indicated important problems associated with the general adoption of the principle of the verification of facts against sensory data. She pointed to three major problems: the restriction of language; the assumption that verificationism makes about the ability of humans to practically demonstrate facts and perform tasks; and problems associated with the sequential nature of human thought and action.