Is Evidence-based medicine about democratizing medical practice?


  • Keld Thorgaard



The authoritarian standpoint in medicine has been under challenge by various groups and researchers since the 1980s. The challenges have been ethical, political and medical, with patient movements at the forefront. Over the past decade, however, a deep challenge has been posed by evidence-based medicine (EBM), which has challenged the entire strategy of medical treatment from the point of view of a self-critical, anti-authoritarian and hereby also (it has been claimed) a more democratic medical practice. Previously, the challenges arose out of the patient rights perspective. EBM, by contrast, was taken to challenge the way doctors consider their medical practice as a whole. The present paper puts this claim of democratization into a historical context. Two dimensions of the democratization hypothesis are discussed and it is argued that they are insufficient to capture the substantial changes going on in the intersection between medical practice, biomedical science and citizens.




How to Cite

Thorgaard, K. (2014). Is Evidence-based medicine about democratizing medical practice?. Outlines. Critical Practice Studies, 15(1), 49–62.