Bending the Rules of Clinical Trials for the Patient’s Sake

Newspaper advertisements seeking patients and ...
Newspaper ad solicits research volunteers

In the current issue of the bioethics journal IRB: Ethics & Human Research, investigators from four different institutions surveyed over 700 clinicians involved in clinical trials and found that 90 percent believed that ignoring certain entry criteria was acceptable if a patient could, in their estimation, benefit from the trial. In addition, over 60 percent of those surveyed also believed that researchers should deviate from study rules if doing so might improve a patient’s care.

While bioethicists and researchers have long suspected that doctors and other clinicians might be committing an occasional protocol infraction, few if any studies have looked at the extent to which such violations occur and how they might compromise research results.” (NYTimes)

I am not a researcher but purely a clinician. I’ve never been in a position to discover whether I would compromise a research protocol to benefit a patient, but I suspect the temptation would be strong (and would limit my ability to deliver good research findings).

Martin Scorsese’s 11 Scariest Horror Movies of All Time

Cover of "The Exorcist (The Version You'v...

Tina Brown asked her friend Martin Scorsese to give her a list and he made it a labor of love…with video clips. I can imagine him chuckling at the thought of how much sleep Tina will lose if she actually watches these. Although there are several pretty predictable entries (The Exorcist, The Shining, Psycho) most are obscure and often forgotten. Modern lists of ‘horror‘ films tend toward blood and gore; Scorsese is going for the truly eerie, as he says often embodied in what is not shown. As it turns out, I have seen all of these and am feeling proud and abit superior to be the same sort of horror aficionado he is. Most of the commenters to his Daily Beast post really put their feet in their mouths, suggesting additions to the list which are trite and embarrassing, although I’m glad someone thought of Funny Games. (The Daily Beast)