Evidence-Based Medicine and Patient Autonomy
- IJFAB: International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics
- Indiana University Press
- Volume 2, Number 2, Fall 2009
- pp. 134-151
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Evidence-based medicine (EBM) was developed to ensure that health-care decisions are based on the best available research evidence. Making this evidence available to patients is supposed to increase their autonomy by putting them in a position to make better-informed choices. In this paper, I draw on work in feminist bioethics to critique EBM's approach to involving patients in decision making, in which patients are asked merely to select their preferences among various possible treatment outcomes but are not encouraged to actively contend with the effects of illness on their lives as a whole.