2019 - 22nd Annual Steven Galovich Memorial Student Symposium

Presentation Title

"Do No Harm": Reflections on Medical Nihilism

Student Presenter(s) and Advisor

Michelle Kielar, Lake Forest CollegeFollow

Department or Major

Neuroscience, Philosophy.

Location

Lillard 044

Abstract

Medicine is supposed to make human life better—or, at least, to make it no worse. “Do no harm” is a medical slogan dating back to Hippocrates. In Medical Nihilism (Oxford 2018), Jacob Stegenga argues that many of the purported spectacular successes of contemporary medicine are, in reality, cleverly disguised failures, falling well short of the Hippocratic ideal of harmlessness—and further that “we should have little confidence in the effectiveness of medical interventions.” What is the basis for Stegenga’s medical nihilism? If this nihilism is justified, how should medical practice be reshaped so that it may do less harm?

Presentation Type

Individual Presentation

Start Date

4-9-2019 10:30 AM

End Date

4-9-2019 11:45 AM

Panel

New Frontiers in Medical Research

Panel Moderator

Jean-Marie Maddux

Field of Study for Presentation

Neuroscience, Philosophy

No downloadable materials are available for this event.

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Apr 9th, 10:30 AM Apr 9th, 11:45 AM

"Do No Harm": Reflections on Medical Nihilism

Lillard 044

Medicine is supposed to make human life better—or, at least, to make it no worse. “Do no harm” is a medical slogan dating back to Hippocrates. In Medical Nihilism (Oxford 2018), Jacob Stegenga argues that many of the purported spectacular successes of contemporary medicine are, in reality, cleverly disguised failures, falling well short of the Hippocratic ideal of harmlessness—and further that “we should have little confidence in the effectiveness of medical interventions.” What is the basis for Stegenga’s medical nihilism? If this nihilism is justified, how should medical practice be reshaped so that it may do less harm?