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This article has been peer reviewed. It was published in: The Yale journal of biology and medicine.

Volume 86, Issue 2, June 2013, Pages 271-80.

The published version is available at PMID: 23766747. Copyright © Yale School of Medicine


Bias is an inclination to present or hold a partial perspective at the expense of possibly equal or more valid alternatives. In this paper, we present a series of conditional arguments to prove that intervention bias exists in the practice of medicine. We then explore its potential causes, consequences, and criticisms. We use the term to describe the bias on the part of physicians and the medical community to intervene, whether it is with drugs, diagnostic tests, non-invasive procedures, or surgeries, when not intervening would be a reasonable alternative. The recognition of intervention bias in medicine is critically important given today's emphasis on providing high-value care and reducing unnecessary and potentially harmful interventions.

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