Importance Of Statistical Method

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Claude Bernard is recognized as an active participant of the laboratory revolution, having discovered the milieu intérieur, or what we today refer to as homeostasis, and is also renowned for his reductionist approach to medicine and its most efficient evidence. His famous book, An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine, immediately makes evident, through its title, that he emphasizes the importance of experience as a method of gathering information. Consequently, the short excerpt from his book which will be analysed in this essay profoundly criticizes the statistical method and the use of quantitative data in therapeutics. He supports an individualised medical approach rather than an objective one which engages the body as a commodity. However, this essay will also demonstrate that although Bernard refutes statistics as lone medical evidence, he does not do so entirely but instead, classifies specifically how they should be used in medicine, …show more content…
Claude Bernard, an opponent of the statistical method, provides two main compelling arguments to why it should not be the sole source of medical evidence. First, he maintains that facts in statistics are often “reduced to comparable units” which is “very often not the case in medicine.” By this, he means that every patient is unique, which entails that medical practitioners apply an individualised healing approach rather than a comparable one in which all patients showing similar signs are treated in the same way. Bernard proves his assumption by mentioning that the results of statistics are probabilities and not certain numbers because there must be some variability in conditions or participants at some point. He concludes his first argument by stating that statistics cannot demonstrate “the mode of action of medicine nor the mechanics of

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