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Not a Humbug: the evolution of patient-centred medical decision-making
  1. Benjamin D. Trump1,
  2. Faina Linkov2,
  3. Robert P Edwards2,
  4. Igor Linkov3
  1. 1University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
  2. 2Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  3. 3Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  1. Correspondence to : Dr Faina Linkov
    Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 3380 Blvd of Allies, Room 307, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA; linkfy{at}mail.magee.edu

Extract

This ‘Christmas Issue’-type paper uses the framework of ‘A Christmas Carol’ to tell about the evolution of decision-making in evidence-based medicine (EBM). The Ghost of the Past represents paternalistic medicine, the Ghost of the Present symbolises EBM, while the Ghost of the Future serves as a patient-centred system where research data and tools of decision science are jointly used to make optimal medical decisions for individual patients. We argue that this shift towards a patient-centred approach to EBM and medical care is the next step in the evolution of medical decision-making, which would help to empower patients with the capability to make educated decisions throughout the course of their medical treatment.

  • PUBLIC HEALTH

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Dr Ronald E LaPorte for critical review of the manuscript. The authors would also like to acknowledge and thank Dr. Jeff Keisler for his helpful suggestions.

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Extract

This ‘Christmas Issue’-type paper uses the framework of ‘A Christmas Carol’ to tell about the evolution of decision-making in evidence-based medicine (EBM). The Ghost of the Past represents paternalistic medicine, the Ghost of the Present symbolises EBM, while the Ghost of the Future serves as a patient-centred system where research data and tools of decision science are jointly used to make optimal medical decisions for individual patients. We argue that this shift towards a patient-centred approach to EBM and medical care is the next step in the evolution of medical decision-making, which would help to empower patients with the capability to make educated decisions throughout the course of their medical treatment.

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Dr Ronald E LaPorte for critical review of the manuscript. The authors would also like to acknowledge and thank Dr. Jeff Keisler for his helpful suggestions.

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