Is insisting on prospective consent in paediatric critical care research throwing the baby out with the bathwater?

By Rebecca Doyle. Robust, research evidence informs best practice and facilitates medical care that is both current and of the highest quality. In an effort to protect children and families who may be exposed to sources of vulnerability in the paediatric critical care environment, is the Australian National Statement jeopardising advancements to critical care research […]

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Consent in an acute clinical research setting – what should that look like?

Peta Coulson-Smith and Anneke Lucassen. Consent to an intervention serves to recognise a person’s autonomy, be that in clinical care – or in the research that informs that clinical care. Consent is not valid unless it is given voluntarily, on the basis of sufficient information to make the decision, and by someone who has the […]

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Don’t blame the science

By Jonathan Michaels When I wrote about the potential for injustices to arise in evidence-based healthcare policy, the COVID-19 pandemic had not begun.  Since then, numerous government agencies and academic bodies have rapidly produced policy, claiming legitimacy because it is “evidence-based” or “follows the science”.  However, science cannot determine policy, and the failure to distinguish […]

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Moving Towards a New Ethical Governance Framework for Research-Clinical Hybrid Genomic Medicine

Authors: Gabrielle Samuel, Sandi Dheensa, Anneke Lucassen, Bobbie Farsides Paper: Towards a national genomics medicine service: the challenges facing clinical-research hybrid practices and the case of the 100 000 genomes project [OPEN ACCESS] The Chief Medical Officers’ 2017 report Generation Genome calls for a move towards integrated research and clinical practice in genomic medicine (i.e., research-clinical […]

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Unethical World Medical Association Standards for Placebo Trials?

  Guest post by Jeremy Howick  Trials show that drugs called ‘interferon alpha’ extend life in people with advanced skin cancer (by a bit). If we invented a new drug to treat advanced skin cancer, most patients would want to know whether the new drug was better than interferon alpha. It would be less useful […]

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Advances in Neuroscience Strengthen Ethical Opposition to Harmful Experiments on Dogs

Guest Post: Jarrod Bailey, Cruelty Free International, London, UK. Paper: Advances in Neuroscience Imply that Harmful Experiments in Dogs are Unethical More than 200,000 dogs are used in harmful experiments every year worldwide, in research into human and animal diseases and in the testing of new drugs and agrochemicals. This continues despite significant public opposition […]

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Not Just About Consent: The Ethical Dimensions of Research Methodology Knowledge in IRBs

Guest Post: Sarah Wieten The recent article, “Some Social Scientists Are Tired of Asking for Permission” in the New York Times inspired a great deal of debate about the role of institutional research ethics board (IRB) oversight in social science, which some argue is in most cases unlikely to involve significant harm to participants. While […]

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“NOW’s interest in pharmaceutical gender equity seems to have disappeared with its funding.”

There’s a remarkable piece on the Hastings Center’s blog by Alycia Hogenmiller about a drug called Addyi.  Addyi is a drug that doesn’t work to treat a condition that doesn’t exist, pushed by campaigners who are actually industry shills. Sprout Pharmaceuticals, run by Cindy and Robert Whitehead, was determined to obtain regulatory approval for flibanserin […]

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No Pain, All Gain: The Case for Farming Organs in Brainless Humans

Guest post by Ruth Stirton, University of Sussex (@RuthStirton) and David Lawrence, Newcastle University (@Biojammer) It is widely acknowledged that there is a nationwide shortage of organs for transplantation purposes.  In 2016, 400 people died whilst on the organ waiting list.  Asking for donors is not working fast enough.  We should explore all avenues to […]

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A Plutocratic Proposal: An Ethical Way for Rich Patients to Pay for a Place on a Clinical Trial

Guest Post: Alexander Masters and Dominic Nutt Paper: A Plutocratic Proposal: an ethical way for rich patients to pay for a place on a clinical trial Is it ethically possible to fund a clinical trial by charging the participants?  We believe we have discovered a way to do it.  Our suggested method has, as far as […]

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