Synthese Library

Evidence and Hypothesis in Clinical Medical Science

Authors: Pinkston, John Alexander

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  • Presents an innovative approach to confirmation theory in the philosophy of medicine
  • Provides a defense of randomization as a method to maximize accuracy in the conduct of clinical trials
  • Considers ethical issues surrounding experimentation with medical therapies in human subjects
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About this book

In this book, the author argues that no current philosophical theory of evidence in clinical medical science is adequate. None can accurately explain the way evidence is gathered and used to confirm hypotheses. To correct this, he proposes a new approach called the weight of evidence account. This innovative method supplies a satisfactory explanation and rationale for the “hierarchical pyramid” of evidence–based medicine, with randomized clinical trials and their derivatives, meta-analyses, and systematic reviews of randomized clinical trials at the top and case reports, case series, expert opinion, and the like at the bottom.

The author illustrates the development of various “levels” of evidence by considering the evolution of less invasive surgical treatments for early breast cancer. He shows that the weight of evidence account explains the notion of levels of evidence and other efforts to rank them. In addition, he presents a defense of randomization as a method to maximize accuracy in the conduct of clinical trials.

The title also considers ethical issues surrounding experimentation with medical therapies in human subjects. It illustrates and discusses these issues in studies of respiratory therapies in neonates and treatment for certain cancers in adults. The author shows that in many cases sufficient evidence can be accrued to warrant generally accepted new therapies without the need for evidence derived from randomized clinical trials.

About the authors

John A. Pinkston, MD is a practicing Radiation Oncologist in Birmingham, AL. Dr. Pinkston graduated from University of Miami Leonard M Miller School of Medicine in 1968 and has been in practice for 49 years. He received his M.D. and Ph.D. (in philosophy) from the University of Miami. Dr. Pinkston completed residencies at the United States Naval Medical Center and at the Stanford University Medical Center. He received a Doctor of Public Health (Dr.P.H.) from the University of Alabama, Birmingham. Dr. Pinkston served as a Research Associate in the Department of Medicine, Radiation Effects Research Foundation, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan and as a Clinical Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology, University of Alabama, Birmingham.

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $64.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-44270-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase and usable on all devices
  • Bulk discounts available
Hardcover $84.99
price for USA in USD
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Evidence and Hypothesis in Clinical Medical Science
Authors
Series Title
Synthese Library
Series Volume
426
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-44270-5
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-44270-5
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-44269-9
Series ISSN
0166-6991
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIII, 152
Number of Illustrations
3 b/w illustrations
Topics