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October 2021

Clinical trials in palliative care: an ethical evaluation

Author(s): Janssens, R., Gordijn, B.

Journal/Book: Patient Educ Couns. 2000; 41: Customer Relations Manager Bay 15, Shannon Industrial Estate CO, Clare, Ireland. Elsevier Sci Ireland Ltd. 55-62.

Abstract: On first sight, clinical trials do not seem to fit well within the concept of palliative care. Tn palliative care, the needs and wishes of the patient set the norm while participation in experimental trials is potentially harmful for the patient. The dilemma seems hard to solve as optimal care for the dying and improvement of treatment for future patients are both imperative. Yet, the one seems to exclude the other. However, on closer examination it becomes less evident that clinical trials in palliative care confront: us with an unsolvable dilemma. Some patients' lives may gain meaning through participation in trials out of solidarity with future patients. In order to clarify this, the notions of authenticity and hope can be illuminative.

Note: Article Janssens R, Catholic Univ Nijmegen, Dept Eth Philosophy & Hist Med, Nijmegen, NETHERLANDS

Keyword(s): human experimentation; beneficence; social justice; autonomy

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