Is Evidence-based Psychiatry Ethical?

Is Evidence-based Psychiatry Ethical?

Mona Gupta

Print publication date: Jun 2014

ISBN: 9780199641116

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Abstract

Rated as one of the top 15 breakthroughs in medicine over the last 150 years, evidence-based medicine (EBM) has become highly influential in medicine, and promotes the seemingly irrefutable principle that decision-making in medical practice should be based, as much as possible, on the most up-to-date research findings. EBM has been particularly popular within psychiatry, a field that is haunted by a legacy of controversial interventions. For advocates, anchoring psychiatric practice in research data makes psychiatry more scientific valid and ethically legitimate. Few, however, have questioned whether EBM, a concept pioneered by those working in other areas of medicine, can be applied to psychiatric disorders. This resource analyzes the basic assumptions of EBM, and critically examines their applicability to psychiatry. By highlighting the basic ethical tensions between psychiatry and EBM, the author addresses the fundamental and controversial question of whether psychiatrists should practice evidence-based medicine at all.