Bad blood of research: Do human experimenters take the ‘informed consent’ requirement seriously?

A psychiatrist recommends a patient for a University of Minnesota antipsychotic clinical trial — even though one week earlier the psychiatrist recommended the patient be involuntarily committed. The patient subsequently committed suicide, possibly but not certainly because of the medication. Question: How could patient possibly have provided “informed consent” to participate in the clinical trial?

Read more at Insight.

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One response to “Bad blood of research: Do human experimenters take the ‘informed consent’ requirement seriously?

  1. Westchester Bill

    What a horrible post!

    When the famous Salk vaccine trial was designed in the 1950′s, the size of the placebo group had to be large enough to produce statistically significant excess polio cases over the treatment group. Although medical personal were very confident in their vaccine, they still doomed children to the disease in the name of Science. Nobody objected. The trial showed that “It Works”. And the whole country was joyful.

    For the Tuskegee case, the treatment in use at the time was never tested correctly, and there was a valid question of whether the expensive and difficult treatment worked. The highly promiscuous fellows who got free care would benefit the most from information about efficacy of the current treatment and alternatives thereto. Informed consent is a stupid philosophy, as societal costs can be avoided by just being selfish or stupid.

    President Clinton’s apology was horribly immoral. He, a non-racist, empathized with the ignorant black guys. Humm! And I love the guy otherwise.

    Judgements about suicide and medicine are dubious at best. For example, an Acne drug was pilloried for causing suicide even though the medicine improved patient’s lives tremendously, leading to a reduction of suicide rates. An upset family carries a lot of weight with little information in our Oprah-Show culture.

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