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Jonathan Fuller – “Epidemiologic Evidence and Deadly Games of Chance: Use at your Own Risk?”
February 6 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Please join us for our February colloquialism where Jonathan Fuller will be giving a talk entitled “Epidemiologic Evidence and Deadly Games of Chance: Use at your Own Risk?”
Abstract: In an era of evidence-based medicine, evidence from epidemiologic studies is recommended in clinical decision-making. But what meaning can we make of population evidence for the individual patient? Preventive therapies are increasingly understood as lowering one’s risk of a heart attack. But here again a problem presents: what meaning can we assign to a patient’s individual risk? I argue that this idea of ‘the patient’s risk’ is interpreted ontically, as a propensity. Afterexploring problems with this view, I argue for an epistemic reinterpretation of the probabilities that epidemiologic evidence provides: epidemiologic evidence informs medical uncertainty. While this interpretation makes meaning of population evidence, the relevance of group data for the particular patient remains tenuous.