Healthcare and Medicine Reference
own codes. Medical ethics are also covered in general bioethics and in all
major religions such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism.
Mutual understanding, participatory decision making, and meaningful
multilateral and multidirectional communication all depend on structured
and problem solving-directed argumentation and shared critical thinking
and its content. We may then consider argumentation, critical thinking,
decision making, and communication not only as having to be ethical them-
selves, but also as an integral part of the medical ethics itself.
Any routine patient-physician encounter and its issues and outcomes,
nursing care, clinical pharmacology decisions, adoption and uses of new
medical technologies, surgical interventions, medical genetics, gene therapy,
assisted suicide, euthanasia, stem cell research and its applications, procre-
ative techniques, organ and tissue transplantations, or uses and abuses of
psychiatry beyond its own domain are just a few examples of modern medi-
cal ethics challenges. Argumentation and communication and uses of their
results largely define our success.
All in all, our thinking processes in medicine, be it in clinical practice or
research, have two purposes: understanding the nature of the health prob-
lem and/or deciding what to do to solve it. Philosophers' principles, meth-
ods, and ways of critical thinking in general are extremely well adapted to
what we are doing in health sciences. Epidemiologists, biostatisticians, health
economists, and clinical specialists have developed many original contribu-
tions, which are crucial for all pragmatic purposes. Our reasoning is geared
to concrete decision making and actions whose course and results we are
responsible for as health professionals.
Logicians may be interested primarily in the purity of argumentation
and thinking processes themselves. In medicine, even the best argu-
mentative process must be based on the best evidence for the stated
purpose first. That is where EBM joins critical thinking about the uses
of the best evidence and evolves into a kind of evidence-based critical
thinking (argumentation) grounded medicine .
Beyond health sciences, we are enriching our experience and practice through
the experience and practice of others. Military arts or business experience as