Project 6: Theoretical and conceptual development

Work by Stacy Carter, in collaboration with Chris Degeling, Alex Barratt and Jenny Doust (Bond University)

Stacy headed up a collaborative project that underpinned the work of the team as a whole. This theoretical research investigated exactly what overdiagnosis is, who is obligated to respond to it, and on what grounds.

The literature contains several informal definitions of overdiagnosis. In practice people use the term ‘overdiagnosis’ to mean different things and the literature on overdiagnosis tends to assume that overdiagnosis is always ethically unjustified.  As part of this project we have published on the definition of overdiagnosis, distinguishing between different types of overdiagnosis that may be more or less ethically justifiable:

Carter SM, Rogers W, Heath I, Degeling C, Doust J, Barratt A. The challenge of overdiagnosis begins with its definitionBMJ. 2015;350:h869.

Carter SM, Degeling C, Doust J, Barratt A. A definition and ethical evaluation of overdiagnosis. J Med Ethics. 2016;42(11):705-14.

Carter SM, Doust J, Degeling C, Barratt A. A definition and ethical evaluation of overdiagnosis: response to commentaries. J Med Ethics. 2016;42:722-4.

Carter SM, Barratt A. What is overdiagnosis and why should we take it seriously in cancer screening? Public Health Research & Practice. 2017;27(3):e2731722.

Carter SM. Overdiagnosis: an important issue that demands rigour and precision: Comment on Medicalisation and overdiagnosis: what society does to medicine. Int J Health Policy Manag. 2017;6(Published online: 25 February 2017)

Carter SM. Overdiagnosis, ethics, and trolley problems: why factors other than outcomes matter—an essay by Stacy Carter. BMJ. 2017;358:j3872. (With a podcast).

More information about Stacy here.