The Pros And Cons Of Clinical Equipoise

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Throughout history, we have seen many unethical forms of human research done, which have ultimately led to dire consequences (Brandt, Lecture 7, Slide 6). Today, ethical research tools have been put forward to determine when experimentation for human research should be allowed. Equipoise is the balance between two conflicting demands, where one demand will promote the welfare of the patient while the other demand will promote the advancement of medical knowledge (Freedman, 1987, 95). There are two types of equipoise: clinical equipoise and therapeutic equipoise. Clinical equipoise looks at the balance through the scientific community, whereas therapeutic equipoise looks at the balance through the judgment of a single physician (Weiger et al., 2013, 93). In this paper, it will be proven that equipoise, specifically clinical equipoise, is valid through the comparisons of the different types of equipoise and the focus on trust relationships. However, it will be made evident that clinical equipoise fails to acknowledge the patient’s autonomy because of the high focus on the medical research aspect.

For research to be valid, it must consider beneficence. Brody and Miller believe that researchers must respect autonomy for the research to be ethical. This is because the patient does not receive any benefits from participating in the trial, which is known as therapeutic misconception (Miller and Brody, 2003, 100). An example of this is the Halushka v. University of Saskatchewan
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