Adrenaline, Information Provision and the Benefits of a Non-Randomised Methodology

Guest Post by Ruth Stirton and Lindsay Stirton, University of Sheffield One of us – Ruth – was on Newsnight on Wednesday the 13th August talking about the PARAMEDIC2 trial.  The trial is a double blind, individually randomised, placebo controlled trial of adrenaline v. normal saline injections in cardiac arrest patients treated outside hospital.  In simpler terms, if […]

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Consigned to the Index

There’re probably times when all of us have had a solution, and just had to find a problem for it.  It’s an easy trap; and it’s one into which I suspect Gretchen Goldman may have fallen in an article in Index on Censorship about scientific freedom and how it’s under threat from disputes about Federal funding in the […]

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Resurrectionism at Easter

There’s a provocative piece in a recent New Scientist about what happens to unclaimed bodies after death – about, specifically, the practice of coopting them for research purposes. Gareth Jones, who wrote it, points out that the practice has been going on for centuries – but that a consequence of the way it’s done is that it tends […]

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Smoking out Tobacco Industry-Supported Research

BMJ Open, along with a couple of other journals, published a statement a couple of days ago saying that they’d no longer accept papers based on research wholly or partially funded by the tobacco industry.  The gloss on the statement is damning: The tobacco industry, far from advancing knowledge, has used research to deliberately produce ignorance […]

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Research Ethics and Ethical Problems

Noted on Ben Goldacre’s twitter feed a couple of weeks ago was this article in Slate about the recruitment of pregnant women into drug trials. Essentially, there’s a situation in which there’s a dearth of information about the impact of drugs during pregnancy.  According to the article, [p]harmaceutical companies are not willing to navigate the […]

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Safety First? How the Current Drug Approval System Lets Some Patients Down

Post by Julian Savulescu Cross-posted from the Practical Ethics blog, and relating to this paper in the JME. Andrew Culliford, whose story is featured in the Daily Mail, is one of the estimated 7 in 100,000 people living with Motor Neuron disease, a progressive degenerative disease which attacks muscles, leaving those affected eventually unable even to […]

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The Value of Role Reversal

Guest Post by Rebecca Dresser, Washington University in St. Louis Not so long ago, medical researchers had a habit of using themselves as guinea pigs.  Many scientists saw self-experimentation as the most ethical way to try out their ideas.  By going first, researchers could test their hypotheses and see how novel interventions affected human beings. Today […]

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