Science and Logic in Medical Diagnosis
In Defense of Individual Patients
Lee A Forstrom
Clinicians and patients know the importance of correct diagnosis for proper treatment. So important – a correct diagnosis – it is the first theme of this book. Several other themes are also important. A second theme is established as “cause and effect,” common or peculiar linked entities in at least some humans. A third theme deals with probabilities, both objective and statistical and/or subjective probabilities. The fourth theme covers the inhomogeneity among all humans. That is, all people are unique. Is science a theme? Not of this kind. Instead, science encompasses all of the themes above and others. Logic holds their framework. The diagnostic model above has been modified by allowing wider scope of inference similar to the earlier “differential diagnoses” model. A quite radical model called “Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM),” was created about thirty years ago. Its advocates depend largely on statistics, with little interest in science. Discussion and comparisons with traditional and EBM models argue here undesirable shortcomings of the latter. Far from dismissing science, but robust medical science, knowledge, experience and professional clinicians continues in caring her/his individual patients.
Dr. Lee Forstrom has pursued a long career in medicine. Lee taught philosophy of science and logic at Simon Fraser University. His practice and research spanned the scope of nuclear medicine, internal medicine, radiology, and in the philosophy of science. He now lives Wayzata, Minnesota.
- Lee A Forstrom