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The process for testing new cancer drugs has become one big game. Companies test new treatments on patients with terminal cancer because these patients are easier to enroll in clinical trials since they have few attractive alternatives. It is also easier to prove marginal benefits, since these terminally ill patients do not need to be followed as long to prove a new treatment prolonged their lives by a few weeks over those receiving a sugarpill.
Informed consent is the process of learning the key facts about a clinical trial before deciding whether or not to participate. It is also a continuing process throughout the study to provide information for participants. To help someone decide whether or not to participate, the doctors and nurses involved in the trial explain the details of the study. If the participant's native language is not English, translation assistance can be provided. Then the research team provides an informed consent document that includes details about the study, such as its purpose, duration, required procedures, and key contacts. Risks and potential benefits are explained in the informed consent document. The participant then decides whether or not to sign the document. Informed consent is not a contract, and the participant may withdraw from the trial at any time.
Originally posted by Hoppinmad1
I feel that these people are desperate for anything to help them. Is it wrong for scientists to take advantage of that. Is it ethical for some scientist to knowingly choose who is going to die and who may live an extra few months.
Originally posted by Valhall
The patients willingly sign up knowing that they have a chance of being given nothing but a placebo. Nobody's duping anybody. There is nothing unethical about this.