American Journal of Bioethics 2 (2):3 – 9 (2002)

Authors
Franklin Miller
Columbia University
Abstract
The leading ethical position on placebo-controlled clinical trials is that whenever proven effective treatment exists for a given condition, it is unethical to test a new treatment for that condition against placebo. Invoking the principle of clinical equipoise, opponents of placebo-controlled trials in the face of proven effective treatment argue that they (1) violate the therapeutic obligation of physicians to offer optimal medical care and (2) lack both scientific and clinical merit. We contend that both of these arguments are mistaken. Clinical equipoise provides erroneous ethical guidance in the case of placebo-controlled trials, because it ignores the ethically relevant distinction between clinical trials and treatment in the context of clinical medicine and the methodological limitations of active-controlled trials. Placebo controls are ethically justifiable when they are supported by sound methodological considerations and their use does not expose research participants to excessive risks of harm.
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DOI 10.1162/152651602317533523
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References found in this work BETA

The Ethical Analysis of Risk.Charles Weijer - 2000 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 28 (4):344-361.

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Citations of this work BETA

Rethinking Research Ethics.Rosamond Rhodes - 2005 - American Journal of Bioethics 5 (1):7 – 28.
Rethinking Research Ethics.Rosamond Rhodes - 2010 - American Journal of Bioethics 10 (10):19-36.
The Real Problem with Equipoise.Winston Chiong - 2006 - American Journal of Bioethics 6 (4):37 – 47.

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