: When may a physician legitimately offer enrollment in a randomized clinical trial (RCT) to her patient? Two answers to this question have had a profound impact on the research ethics literature. Equipoise, as originated by Charles Fried, which we term Fried's equipoise (FE), stipulates that a physician may offer trial enrollment to her patient only when the physician is genuinely uncertain as to the preferred treatment. Clinical equipoise (CE), originated by Benjamin Freedman, requires that there exist a state of (...) honest, professional disagreement in the community of expert practitioners as to the preferred treatment. FE and CE are widely understood as competing concepts. We argue that FE and CE offer separable and, in themselves, incomplete justifications for the conduct of clinical trials. FE articulates conditions under which the fiduciary duties of physician to patient may be upheld in the conduct of research. CE sets out a standard for the social approval of research by institutional review boards. Viewed in this way, FE and CE are not necessarily competing notions, but rather address complementary moral concerns. (shrink)
Heated debate surrounds the question whether the relationship between physician-researcher and patient-subject is governed by a duty of care. Miller and Weijer argue that fiduciary law provides a strong legal foundation for this duty, and for articulating the terms of the relationship between physician-researcher and patient-subject.
The question "When are research risks reasonable in relation to anticipated benefits?" is at the heart of disputes in the ethics of clinical research. Institutional review boards are often criticized for inconsistent decision-making, a problem that is compounded by a number of contemporary controversies, including the ethics of research involving placebo controls, developing countries, incapable adults and emergency rooms. If this pressing ethical question is to be addressed in a principled way, then a systematic approach to the ethics of risk (...) in research is required. Component analysis provides such a systematic approach. (shrink)
Franklin G. Miller and colleagues have stimulated renewed interest in research ethics through their work criticizing clinical equipoise. Over three years and some twenty articles, they have also worked to articulate a positive alternative view on norms governing the conduct of clinical research. Shared presuppositions underlie the positive and critical dimensions of Miller and colleagues' work. However, recognizing that constructive contributions to the field ought to enjoy priority, we presently scrutinize the constructive dimension of their work. We argue that it (...) is wanting in several respects. (shrink)
: In response to the preceding commentary by Jerry Menikoff in this issue of the Journal , the authors argue that Fried's central concern is not that randomized clinical trials (RCTs) are conducted without consent, but rather that various aspects of the design and conduct of RCTs are in tension with physicians' duties of personal care to their patients. Although Fried does argue that the existence of equipoise cannot justify failure to obtain consent from research subjects, informed consent by itself (...) does not supplant ill subjects' rights to personalized judgment and care embodied in Fried's equipoise. (shrink)
When may a physician enroll a patient in clinical research? An adequate answer to this question requires clarification of trust-based obligations of the state and the physician-researcher respectively to the patient-subject. The state relies on the voluntarism of patient-subjects to advance the public interest in science. Accordingly, it is obligated to protect the agent-neutral interests of patient-subjects through promulgating standards that secure these interests. Component analysis is the only comprehensive and systematic specification of regulatory standards for benefit-harm evaluation by research (...) ethics committees (RECs). Clinical equipoise, a standard in component analysis, ensures the treatment arms of a randomised control trial are consistent with competent medical care. It thus serves to protect agent-neutral welfare interests of the patient-subject. But REC review occurs prior to enrolment, highlighting the independent responsibility of the physician-researcher to protect the agent-relative welfare interests of the patient-subject. In a novel interpretation of the duty of care, we argue for a “clinical judgment principle” which requires the physician-researcher to exercise judgment in the interests of the patient-subject taking into account evidence on treatments and the patient-subject‘s circumstances. (shrink)
Earlier in the pages of this journal (p 481), Wendler and Miller offered the "net risks test" as an alternative approach to the ethical analysis of benefits and harms in research. They have been vocal critics of the dominant view of benefit-harm analysis in research ethics, which encompasses core concepts of duty of care, clinical equipoise and component analysis. They had been challenged to come up with a viable alternative to component analysis which meets five criteria. The alternative must (1) (...) protect research subjects; (2) allow clinical research to proceed; (3) explain how physicians may offer trial enrolment to their patients; (4) address the challenges posed by research containing a mixture of interventions and (5) define ethical standards according to which the risks and potential benefits of research may be consistently evaluated. This response argues that the net risks test meets none of these criteria and concludes that it is not a viable alternative to component analysis. (shrink)
This paper examines Foucault's reading of Plato and ancient philosophy as part of his continuing dialogue and debate with Derrida. It contends that this debate not only in part motivates Foucault's turn to antiquity, but also is directly revelatory of the most basic differences between Foucault's and Derrida's conceptions of philosophy.
Special moral, regulatory, and scientific questions surround the inclusion of children in health-related research. These questions arise from a fundamental moral tension between the obligation to expose children to research participation to ensure that they share in the benefits that arise from it and the obligation to protect them from the harms associated with their inappropriate involvement in research. This tension is felt in the development of moral and regulatory frameworks for the protection of child research subjects and in the (...) implementation and interpretation of these frameworks by institutional review boards. (shrink)
: The authors respond to objections Fred Gifford has raised against their paper "Rehabilitating Equipoise." They situate this exchange in the wider context of recent debate over equipoise, highlighting substantial points of agreement between themselves and Gifford. The authors offer a brief restatement of "Rehabilitating Equipoise" in which they amplify some of its core arguments. They then assess Gifford's objections. Finding each to be unfounded, they argue that there is no justification for "pulling the plug" on clinical equipoise.
IÂ’m only talking about commercial big time music in the United States. Of course music is gloriously seething in odd corners of the planet as it should. I can team up with some compatible friends and we can go find or make our own music in any of a number of accommodating environments- on the net, in the forest, or in some dank club late at night.
The order of influence from thesis to hypothesis, and from philosophy to the social sciences, has historically governed the way in which the abstraction and significance of language as an empirical object is determined. In this article, an argument is made for the development of a more reflexive intellectual relationship between ordinary language philosophy and the social sciences that it helped inspire. It is demonstrated that, and how, the social scientific traditions of ethnomethodology and conversation analysis press OLP to re-consider (...) the variety of problematic abstractions it has previously made for the sake of philosophical clarity, thereby self-reinvigorating. (shrink)
Reckford has produced a very serviceable introduction to a very difficult poet. Written with genuine verve and passion, this personal look at what many view as a crabbed and uncongenial writer is a welcome addition to an all too small English bibliography on Rome's third great satirist, after Lucilius and Horace. Beginning its life as the Martin lectures delivered at Oberlin a decade ago, this generous, often nostalgic look at the work of a young Stoic under the reign of Nero (...) will surely help him find a wider audience among today's ambitious undergraduates and beginning graduate students. (shrink)