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Title Clinical Statistics. XXXIX. The haze of Bayes, the aerial palaces of decision analysis, and the computerized Ouija board.
Author(s) Alvan R. Feinstein, MD
Source Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Vol. 21, No. 4, Pages 482-496
Publication Date 1977
Abstract In previous papers of this series I have discussed some of the clinical disasters produced by an idolatrous worship of a predominantly mathematical approach to testing therapeutic agents. In this essay, I shall consider the mechanisms, merits, and malefactions of the mathematical methods proposed for other types of clinical decisions. Clinicians have now become so infatuated with these models that the products have begun to appear frequently not in the abstract esoterica of mathematical publications, but in journals that presumably deal with clinical reality. To understand what these models really are and what they really do has thus become a necessity -- if not as a contribution to a clinician's creative scholarship, at least as a weapon for intellectual self-defense.


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