UoB BMVP Anita Ho departmental lecture - Epistemic Humility in Medicine: An Oxymoron?

26 June 2018, 1.00 PM - 19 June 2018, 2.00 PM

Dr Anita Ho

Room 1.12, 8-10 Berkley Square

Anita Ho (PhD, MPH) is an Associate Professor in Bioethics at the Centre for Applied Ethics at the University of British Columbia, and an Affiliate Faculty member in the Bioethics Program of the University of California, San Francisco.

The notions of ‘‘expert’’ and ‘‘expertise’’ imply that some people have more credibility than others on certain matters. In medicine, it is generally accepted that physicians are experts with a superior ability to accurately diagnose patients and determine a range of appropriate solutions for various clinical problems. Nonetheless, recent emphases on patient autonomy and shared decision making in Western bioethics have challenged various paternalistic assumptions in medicine regarding patients’ best interests. This presentation explores whether a professional shift towards epistemic humility -- a recognition that the clinician’s technical knowledge may be insufficient in establishing appropriate care plans, and that patients may be the experts of their own circumstances – is an ethically and epistemologically feasible stance.

Departmental lecture, lunch provided.

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