Projectability, Disagreement, and Consensus: A Challenge to Clinical Equipoise

Theoretical and Applied Ethics 3 (1):17-34 (2014)
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Abstract

Clinical equipoise links ethically appropriate medical research with medical research that has the reasonable chance of resolving debates. We argue against this principle on the ground that most debates in medicine cannot be resolved by the outcomes of any particular empirical study. In fact, a deep understanding of the methodology of scientific research leads to the conclusion that adopting clinical equipoise as an ethical standard for medical research would deprive medical researchers of the ability to confirm clinical hypotheses.

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Mark Fedyk
University of California, Davis

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