Teaching & Training

New Course for 2017/18

SPPH 581T: Ethics of Evidence Based Medicine and Public Health

Since the early 1990s, Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) has emerged as a highly influential movement that has impacted almost all health related disciplines, including population and public health. At the core of EBM is a set of beliefs about what constitutes good evidence for the effectiveness of health interventions. Consequently, it is an excellent example of what some philosophers refer to as a coupled ethical-epistemic issue. That is, what makes something good evidence for the effectiveness of a health intervention is not only a scientific or statistical question, but is also linked to the deeply value-laden aim of improving health in both clinical and population settings. This course, then, focuses on coupled ethical-epistemic issues arising from EBM, and their implications for population and public health. Specific topics to be addressed include:

  • Ethical and value aspects of the concept of evidence.
  • Potential rationales and shortcomings of evidence hierarchies commonly used in EBM.
  • The role of evidence-based approaches in population health, wherein randomized clinical trials are often infeasible.
  • Susceptibility of EBM to sponsorship bias and disease mongering, and approaches for countering these.

Instructor: D. Steel

View the course syllabus here

2017/2018 Courses Taught by CAE Faculty

Susan Homewood

  • INDS 502U Qualitative Methods in Applied Ethics Research
  • SOCI 200 Sociology and Family
  • SPPH 519 Qualitative Methods in Health Research Design
  • SPPH 621 Approaches to Inquiry in Population and Public Health

David Fraser

  • APBI 314 Animals and Society
  • APBI 315 Animal Welfare and Ethics of Animal Use
  • APBI 414 Animals and Global Issues

David Silver

  • COMM 386 Business Ethics Leadership

Daniel Steel

  • SPPH 381A Public Health Ethics
  • SPPH 581T Ethics of Evidence Based Medicine and Public Health