While enjoying the most recent Emergency Medicine and Acute Care Series conference, I was fascinated at the way studies can be constructed, and deconstructed, in the search for the best medical care for our fellow humans.  Although I’m no statistician, and certainly no researcher, I have great respect and admiration for all of those who engage in research, and also for those whose mathematical, logical minds can detect good studies and bad, and proceed to tell me why.  Amazing!

But as we went through paper after paper at the meeting, I had a two striking realizations.

1)  All of the effort and money that goes into medical research suggests that, deep down, physicians see human beings as immensely valuable.

As a pro-life, Christian physician, it’s always good to be reminded that others see humans as entities of great worth, as I do.  Others may be pro-choice, or in favor of assisted suicide.  But the great mass of effort in medicine suggests a strong inclination towards the absolute, intrinsic value of human beings.
2)  If we say we are practicing ‘evidence-based’ medicine, it means that we are using evidence to arrive at truth, which means that in their hearts, like it or not, medical scientists believe in absolute truth.  Research changes, you say?  The answers vary from decade to decade?  Absolutely.  But not on a whim, not capriciously, not with intent.  The answers vary as we scrape, dig and claw the dust off of the final truths for which we are constantly searching.  The truth in all things may be elusive, but that doesn’t mean we can stop looking.

So, when others are angry that we believe in ‘absolute truth,’ or ‘absolute morals,’ we may simply point out that they do as well.  Evidence-based medicine is the strongest ‘evidence’ of that fact!

Every now and then, encouragement comes from unique sources.  Who knew I would see the Almighty lurking in pain research, in resuscitation theories; or in confidence intervals, specificity, sensitivity, blinded studies and all the rest?

And yet, lover of man and lover of truth, he lurks about in medicine from research lab to bedside, birth to grave, revealing himself to us little by little, and guiding us in our pursuits if we are wise enough to ask him.  Nothing is too small to escape his attention.

‘And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’  John 8:32, KJV

May we all know the freedom truth affords.

Edwin

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