From Evidence-based Medicine to Human-based Medicine in Psychosomatics
Human-based medicine (HbM), a form of psychiatry that focuses not only on fragments and constructs but on the whole person, no longer finds its theoretical basis in the positivism of the modern era, but rather owes its central maxims to the post-modernist ideal that ultimate truths or objectivity in identifying the final cause of illness remain hidden from us for theoretical reasons alone. Evidence-based medicine (EbM) and HbM are thus not mutually exclusive opposites; rather, despite superficial differences in methods of diagnosis and treatment, EbM must be integrated into HbM as an indispensable component of the latter. Probably the most important difference between EbM and HbM lies in the aims and methods of treatment. In HbM the goal is no longer simply to make illnesses disappear but rather to allow the patient to return to a life that is as autonomous and happy as possible. The human being with all his or her potential and limitations once again becomes the measure of all things. This also implies, however, that the multidimensional diagnostics of HbM are oriented not only towards symptoms, pathogenesis, process and understanding but also to a greater degree towards the patient’s resources. Treatment options and forms of therapy do not put the disease construct at the centre of the diagnostic and therapeutic interest, but have as their primary aim the reopening of the possibility of a largely autonomous and joyful life for the patient.