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In defence of professional judgement,

Downie, Robin; Macnaughton, Jane

In defence of professional judgement, Thumbnail


Robin Downie


A judgement may be defined as an assertion made with evidence or good reason in a context of uncertainty. In psychiatry the uncertainty is inherent in the professional context and the evidence derives from academic literature and scientific studies as they are applied to a specific patient. The nature of the uncertainty and the factors that should inform professional judgement are explored in this article. Professional judgement currently faces two serious challenges: an obsession with numbers, which comes from within medicine, and the ‘patient choice’ agenda, which is politically inspired and comes from outside medicine. In this article we strive to defend professional judgement in the clinic against both challenges.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Sep 1, 2009
Deposit Date Jul 19, 2012
Publicly Available Date Aug 15, 2012
Journal Advances in Psychiatric Treatment
Print ISSN 1355-5146
Electronic ISSN 1472-1481
Publisher Royal College of Psychiatrists
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue 5
Pages 328-331
Public URL


Accepted Journal Article (116 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This is an author-produced electronic version of an article accepted for publication in Advances in Psychiatric Treatment. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at

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