Decision-Making: Fallacies and Other Mistakes

  • Barbara MaierEmail author
  • Warren A. Shibles†
Part of the International Library of Ethics, Law, and the New Medicine book series (LIME, volume 47)


Medical methods and decisions are often based on traditional, culture-bound practices, rather than on sound, critical thinking considering consequences. As medical language and practice are influenced by the culture, culture must be critically examined. Decision-making is based on language. It mainly involves the making of causal statements, which are phrased in language and can therefore be no more precise than the language used. Frequent causes of irrational medical thinking and decision-making are analyzed especially fallacies from the claim of certainty where only can be probability and medical and societal un-culture of dealing with mistakes. Five levels of decision-making in medicine are presented: 1. Medical, 2. Ethical, 3. Interdisciplinary, 4. Philosophy of Medicine, and 5. Philosophy in general.


Perception claim of certainty captivation by a model reductionism consensus informal logical fallacy abstractionism either-or fallacy rationalization mistakes 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Gynecology and ObstetricsParacelsus Medical University SALKSalzburgAustria
  2. 2.University of Wisconsin–WhitewaterWhitewaterUSA

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