The Ethics Blog

A blog from the Centre for Research Ethics & Bioethics (CRB)

Tag: patients (Page 1 of 4)

We do not know if cancer patients receive better treatment by participating in clinical trials

How do we know? That is the recurring question in a scientific culture. Do we have support for what we claim or is it just an opinion? Is there evidence? The development of new cancer treatments provides many examples of the recurring question. The pharmaceutical company would like to be able to claim that the […]

Clinical cancer trials convey a culture of hope

Activities that we may want to keep apart often overlap. An example is cancer research and care. Clinical cancer centers often conduct research and recruit patients as research participants. Such research is important if we want to offer future patients better cancer treatments. However, does this also apply to patients participating in studies? Are they […]

Who belongs to us?

Bioethics has a problem with human beings, the philosopher Roland Kipke writes. It must ask who belongs to our moral community. Who has rights? Who has human dignity? Who has the moral status usually attributed to healthy adult humans? Who has the right to life? The question is: Who belongs to us? Are human embryos […]

How about personally optimized treatment?

It is well known that patients who are asked to participate in cancer trials are tempted by the therapeutic misconception. They believe they are offered a newer and better treatment, when in fact it is about research into an untested treatment. When researchers use genetic tests to develop personalized oncology, even more misconceptions can arise. […]

Pragmatic trials without informed consent?

Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are considered to be the gold standard for determining a causal effect of medical interventions. To achieve this aim, possible confounding factors must be avoided. This implies excluding many patients from participating in the trial, for example, patients with concomitant conditions. A negative consequence of these exclusions, however, is limited generalizability. […]

On “truly” understanding the risk

It is a well-known psychological fact that people have great difficulties to understand probabilistic risks. What does it actually mean that the risk of developing breast cancer the next ten years is fifteen percent? In addition to the difficulties of understanding probabilities, mathematical expressions can cause a false appearance of exactitude and objectivity. It is […]

Ask the patients about the benefits and the risks

Almost no medications are without risks of side effects. When new drugs are approved, decision makers must balance risks and benefits. To make the balancing, they use results from clinical trials where the drugs are tested on patients to determine (among other things) efficacy and side effects. But how do you balance risks and benefits? […]

Dissertation on the decision not to resuscitate

Since the beginning of this blog, I have had the opportunity to write about Mona Pettersson’s research, which deals with decisions in cancer care not to resuscitate terminally ill patients through cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The physician makes the decision, if the patient has a too bad prognosis and is too weak to survive the treatment with […]

Patients find misleading information on the internet

In phase 1 clinical studies of substances that might possibly be used to treat cancer in the future, cancer patients are recruited as research participants. These patients almost always have advanced cancer that no longer responds to the standard treatment. That research participation would affect the cancer is unlikely. The purpose of a phase 1 […]

Nurses’ vulnerable position when care and research coincide

A new article highlights ethical challenges that nurses face in their profession when more and more clinical trials are conducted on cancer patients. Nursing alone is stressful. Studies have shown how heavy workload and being pressed for time can cause moral blindness and emotional immunization among nurses. In clinical trials, the situation is even more […]

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