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Mechanisms in clinical practice: use and justification

Tonelli, Mark R., Williamson, Jon (2020) Mechanisms in clinical practice: use and justification. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy, 23 . pp. 115-124. ISSN 1386-7423. E-ISSN 1572-8633. (doi:10.1007/s11019-019-09915-5) (KAR id:76736)


While the importance of mechanisms in determining causality in medicine is currently the subject of active debate, the role of mechanistic reasoning in clinical practice has received far less attention. In this paper we look at this question in the context of the treatment of a particular individual, and argue that evidence of mechanisms is indeed key to various aspects of clinical practice, including assessing population-level research reports, diagnostic as well as therapeutic decision making, and the assessment of treatment effects. We use the pulmonary condition bronchiectasis as a source of examples of the importance of mechanistic reasoning to clinical practice.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1007/s11019-019-09915-5
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
Depositing User: Jon Williamson
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2019 09:18 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 06:17 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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