Research implications due to the shared-decision model

Stéphanie Van Droogenbroeck

Onderzoeksoutput: Meeting abstract (Book)


The shared-decision model which states that patient and physician have similar rights in the decision process has been implemented in several countries as a law. (3) This implies an important research question. As philosophy is intrigued by dialectics (argumentation theory) and inferences (logic), it can help solving the question of which streams of information exist. Lots of research has been done on communication in medicine, but what is going on in medical diagnostics has been neglected. The step that precedes the decision moment is as important as making the decision itself. Patients give information to the doctor who works on the patients history and the physician asks further questions. But the physician also uses information from colleagues, recent articles (that may imply Evidence Based Medicine), family of the patient etc. The patient on the other hand may look for extra information on the internet, family etc. This complex web of information streams must be investigated.

An interesting starting-point is the existence of several expert-systems (2) that are developed to help diagnosticians in their search for the correct diagnosis. These systems don't need to infer exactly as real-life physicians do. The only aim of this kind of software is to come to a diagnosis. On other instrument that may be helpful in solving this research question are dynamic logics. (1) There is an important difference compared to expert-systems: these logics try to model human reasoning. This means that they aim to copy the thinking of physicians. Both formal approaches have their advantages and disadvantages to investigate diagnostic reasoning. Expert-systems can give new problem-solving techniques as they follow another reasoning style compared to physicians, but they have the disadvantage that the other strategies are not implementable in real-life diagnosing. Logics on the other hand have the advantage that they are similar to how doctors really infer and that logics force us to take a closer look at what is going on in a diagnostic process. The disadvantage is that logics may be an exact copy of real reasoning and consequently don't learn us more about diagnosing.

The first purpose of this talk is to show that diagnostic reasoning has not yet being studied thoroughly in philosophy. The second aim is giving some examples of both methods, i.c. expert-systems and dynamic logics, to prove that these are useful in research on diagnostic reasoning as they can help each coping with the disadvantages of both. The third and last aim is to show that formal methods can be assisted by informal methods like epistemology and the philosophy of science. Some examples will be given.


(1) Batens, D., Meheus, J., Provijn, D., and Verhoeven, L. Some adaptive logics for diagnosis, Logic and Logical Philosophy, 11, 2003: 39-65.
(2) Lucas, P. Logic engineering in medicine, The Knowledge Engineering Review, 10, 1995: 153-179.
(3) Wet betreffende de rechten van de patiënt 22/08/2002 (Law on Patient Rights), published in Belgisch Staatsblad 26/09/2002, 43698.
Originele taal-2English
Titel24th European Conference on philosophy of medicine and health care- Andrija Stampar School of Public Health- University of Zagreb School of Medicine
StatusPublished - 2010
EvenementUnknown -
Duur: 1 jan 2010 → …

Publicatie series

Naam24th European Conference on philosophy of medicine and health care- Andrija Stampar School of Public Health- University of Zagreb School of Medicine


Periode1/01/10 → …


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