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In the past decades, at the same time as the theory and practice of Shared Decision Making have achieved increasing prominence, threads of epistemological, ethical and political concern have converged to render the concept itself problematic. How does the “evidence based medicine” purveyed by the clinician differ from the evidence used by the patient? Whose values and preferences are meant to take precedence, and how does the social and political milieu impinge upon, or determine, the exercise of decision making (if indeed that is the main point of the health care encounter)?

In this exploratory, conceptual, and deliberately provocative talk, I will seek to blow up and then reconstruct shared decision making along both more defensible yet more ambitious lines, arguing that saving SDM as an approach to health care means saving our system from moral and empirical blindness.

If you would like to attend, please e-mail Jane Beinart at

Forthcoming events

Risk factors for oesophageal cancer: recent findings from the Million Women Study

Tuesday, 28 November 2023, 1pm to 2pm @ Richard Doll Lecture Theatre, Richard Doll Building, Old Road Campus, Headington, OX3 7LF

OxPop Festival of Global Health - El Susto

Wednesday, 29 November 2023, 4pm to 8pm @ The Curzon Cinema, The Westgate, Oxford

Developing a malaria vaccine

Monday, 15 January 2024, 1pm to 2pm @ BDI/OxPop Building LG seminar rooms

Enteric fever programme

Monday, 22 January 2024, 1pm to 2pm @ BDI/OxPop Building LG seminar room 1