Evidence-based medicine and epistemological imperialism

narrowing the divide between evidence and illness

Helen Crowther, Wendy Lipworth, Ian Kerridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


Evidence-based medicine (EBM) has been rapidly and widely adopted because it claims to provide a method for determining the safety and efficacy of medical therapies and public health interventions more generally. However, as others have noted, EBM may be riven through with cultural bias, both in the generation of evidence and in its translation. We suggest that technological and scientific advances in medicine accentuate and entrench these cultural biases, to the extent that they may invalidate the evidence we have about disease and its treatment. This creates a significant ethical, epistemological and ontological challenge for medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)868-72
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • culture
  • disease taxonomy
  • evidence-based medicine
  • medical epistemology
  • medical ontology

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