How Clinical Trials Really Work Rethinking Research Ethics

Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 21 (2):121-139 (2011)
Clinical trials are a central mechanism in the production of medical knowledge. They are the gold standard by which such knowledge is evaluated. They are widespread both in the United States and internationally; a National Institute of Health database reports over 106,000 active industry and government-sponsored trials (National Institutes of Health n.d.). They are an engine of the economy. The work of trials is complex; multiple people with diverse interests working across multiple settings simultaneously participate in them, and they are underwritten by multiple organizational structures and diverse funding mechanisms. In the past several years, concern about the ethics of clinical trials has spiked dramatically ..
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DOI 10.1353/ken.2011.0008
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