Social Philosophy and Policy



INDIFFERENCE OF SUBJECTS: AN ALTERNATIVE TO EQUIPOISE IN RANDOMIZED CLINICAL TRIALS


Robert M.  Veatch  a1
a1 Philosophy, The Kennedy Institute of Ethics and Georgetown University

The physician who upholds the Hippocratic oath is supposed to be loyal to his or her patients. This requires choosing only the therapy that the physician believes is best for the patient. However, knowing what is best requires randomized clinical trials. Thus, clinicians must be willing to recruit their patients to be assigned at random to one of two therapies (or perhaps to a therapy or a placebo) in order to determine which is best based on the highest standards of pharmacological science.



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