Expert Consensus

Authored by: Miriam Solomon

The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Medicine

Print publication date:  October  2016
Online publication date:  October  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138846791
eBook ISBN: 9781315720739
Adobe ISBN: 9781317519850

10.4324/9781315720739.ch32

 Download Chapter

 

Abstract

“Expert consensus” is a shorthand way of referring to the agreement of experts on a matter about which they have expertise. The practice of medicine involves frequent reliance—by clinicians, patients, and others—on expert consensus. Sometimes that consensus is informal (achieved through the usual processes of research and clinical practice) and sometimes formal (developed at a medical consensus conference). An example of an informal consensus is, “The experts (pediatric pulmonologists) agree that early aggressive treatment of cystic fibrosis is best.” An example of a formal consensus is, “The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation recommends that airway clearance therapy be increased as part of the treatment of an acute exacerbation of pulmonary disease.” The goal of this chapter is to investigate the social epistemology of expert consensus in medical contexts. Why do we rely on expert consensus and under what circumstances (if any) is it appropriate to challenge it?

 Cite
Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.