Deconstructing the evidence-based discourse in health sciences: truth, power and fascism

ebhc.jpg  The following article was published by some Canadian researchers in the September 2006 issue of the International Journal of Evidence-Based Healthcare. I just read about it on Sue Pelletier’s blog Capsules. Have a look and see what you think …

Holmes, Dave, Murray, Stuart J, Perron, Amélie & Rail, Geneviève. Deconstructing the evidence-based discourse in health sciences: truth, power and fascism. International Journal of Evidence-Based Healthcare 2006; 4 (3), 180-186.

Background Drawing on the work of the late French philosophers Deleuze and Guattari, the objective of this paper is to demonstrate that the evidence-based movement in the health sciences is outrageously exclusionary and dangerously normative with regards to scientific knowledge. As such, we assert that the evidence-based movement in health sciences constitutes a good example of microfascism at play in the contemporary scientific arena. 

Objective The philosophical work of Deleuze and Guattari proves to be useful in showing how health sciences are colonised (territorialised) by an all-encompassing scientific research paradigm – that of post-positivism – but also and foremost in showing the process by which a dominant ideology comes to exclude alternative forms of knowledge, therefore acting as a fascist structure. 

Conclusion The Cochrane Group, among others, has created a hierarchy that has been endorsed by many academic institutions, and that serves to (re)produce the exclusion of certain forms of research. Because ‘regimes of truth’ such as the evidence-based movement currently enjoy a privileged status, scholars have not only a scientific duty, but also an ethical obligation to deconstruct these regimes of power.

Journal Record      DOI Link     Full Text     A Rant


One Response

  1. Anne, I wonder about what constitutes good and proper evidence and seem to notice that this notion is propagated by those who wouldn’t know a clinical encounter if they tripped over one. Many thanks for this.

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