Contextualising science in the aftermath of the evidence-based medicine era: On the need for person-centred healthcare

“How do patients respond to a significant or a catastrophic diagnosis and how should clinicians respond to such a response?”

This article by Andrew Miles and Jonathan Elliott Asbridge – published December 2013 in the European Journal for Person Centered Healthcare – is relevant to both mental and biophysical healthcare. It begins:

“How are we to deal with what Charon [1] has called ‘the vexing failures of medicine, its relentless positivism, its damaging reductionism, its appeal to the sciences and not to the humanities in the Academy and its wholesale refusal to take into account the human dimensions of illness and healing’?

Why is it that the ability of doctors to care for their patients as individuals has been lost in what the former Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University, David Weatherall [2], refers to as ‘a morass of expensive high technology investigation and treatment’, so that modern medicine has become a ‘failure’?

For what reason has medicine entered, as Miles [3,4] claims, ‘a crisis of knowledge, care, compassion and costs’?

The European Journal for Person Centered Healthcare and indeed the newly instituted European Society for Person Centered Healthcare [5,6], is embarking on a quest to answer such questions, but will pose, in addition, an overarching fourth: ‘How do patients respond to a significant or a catastrophic diagnosis and how should clinicians respond to such a response?’ …”

Read more here.

  1. Charon, R. (2006). The self-telling body. Narrative Inquiry 19, 191-200.
  2. Weatherall, D. (1996). Science and the Quiet Art: The Role of Medical Research in Health Care. New York: W.W. Norton.
  3. Miles, A. & Loughlin, M. (2011). Models in the balance: evidence-based medicine versus evidence-informed individualised care. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 17, 531-536.
  4. Miles, A. (2009). On a Medicine of the Whole Person: away from scientistic reductionism, towards the embrace of the complex in clinical practice. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 15 (6) 941-949.
  5. Miles, A. & Asbridge, J.E. (2013). The European Journal for Person Centered Healthcare. European Journal for Person Centered Healthcare 1, 1-3.
  6. Miles, A & Asbridge, J.E. (2013). The European Society for Person Centered Healthcare. European Journal for Person Centered Healthcare 1, 4-40.
Contextualising science in the aftermath of the evidence-based medicine era: On the need for person-centred healthcare
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