Assay Sensitivity and the Epistemic Contexts of Clinical Trials


In February 2010, the World Medical Association hosted an international symposium on the ethics of placebo controls in clinical trials (WMA 2010). Despite years of debate, ethicists, clinical trialists, and policy makers remain divided over the ethical acceptability of using placebos in research when a proven, effective treatment is available. The protracted nature of this problem is due, at least in part, to a perceived conflict between the opposing demands placed on clinical research by science and ethics. A good, scientifically valid trial, it is argued, must be “assay sensitive,” and without using a placebo control, there can be no guarantee that it is. In this article, we revisit some of the claims made about ..

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Author Profiles

Spencer Hey
Harvard University
Charles Weijer
University of Western Ontario

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Citations of this work

Heuristics and Meta-Heuristics in Scientific Judgement.Spencer Phillips Hey - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (2):471-495.
What Theories Are Tested in Clinical Trials?Spencer Phillips Hey - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (5):1318-1329.
Judging Quality and Coordination in Biomarker Diagnostic Development.Spencer Phillips Hey - 2015 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 30 (2):207-227.

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