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Complementary and alternative medicine

Complementary and alternative medicine
Complementary and alternative medicine
Although a number of people advocate and use Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), serious thinkers have doubts about its efficacy and the morality of its use. CAM is, in any case, difficult to define since many people use the term to refer to a diverse group of healthcare practices. In this entry I consider the ethical justification of CAM through a balanced assessment of the four principles of modern bioethics: autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice. As with conventional medicine, informed ethical debates in CAM are intrinsically linked to evidential-epistemological issues. Some claim that CAM practices do not meet the standards of evidence-based medicine and thus, that their use is unethical. Others claim the principles of evidence-based medicine are misguided. This dispute is best evaluated in a broader debate about the appropriate evidential standards for the use of all healthcare practices. Inasmuch as this is true, a careful investigation of ethical issues concerning CAM can inform other ethical and evidential debates about conventional medicine.
Wiley-Blackwell
Hardman, Doug
bf7ba905-0d04-4d1f-9686-f9a3a3d642db
Lafollette, Hugh
Hardman, Doug
bf7ba905-0d04-4d1f-9686-f9a3a3d642db
Lafollette, Hugh

Hardman, Doug (2019) Complementary and alternative medicine. In, Lafollette, Hugh (ed.) International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Wiley-Blackwell. (doi:10.1002/9781444367072.wbiee876).

Record type: Book Section

Abstract

Although a number of people advocate and use Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), serious thinkers have doubts about its efficacy and the morality of its use. CAM is, in any case, difficult to define since many people use the term to refer to a diverse group of healthcare practices. In this entry I consider the ethical justification of CAM through a balanced assessment of the four principles of modern bioethics: autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice. As with conventional medicine, informed ethical debates in CAM are intrinsically linked to evidential-epistemological issues. Some claim that CAM practices do not meet the standards of evidence-based medicine and thus, that their use is unethical. Others claim the principles of evidence-based medicine are misguided. This dispute is best evaluated in a broader debate about the appropriate evidential standards for the use of all healthcare practices. Inasmuch as this is true, a careful investigation of ethical issues concerning CAM can inform other ethical and evidential debates about conventional medicine.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 29 June 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 424542
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/424542
PURE UUID: 8b2327a9-f841-4e9f-9d4c-0d8e5ce800ab
ORCID for Doug Hardman: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-6717-2323

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Date deposited: 05 Oct 2018 11:38
Last modified: 02 Jul 2019 00:25

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