Achieving Informed Consent in Clinical Trials
The primary objective of clinical research is to discover which treatments are safe and effective. In order to demonstrate that a particular drug or surgical intervention is the best choice for patients with a particular disease or disability one must compare the alternatives. Thus, a new drug must be compared for efficacy and toxicity with the conventional treatment or with placebo. If the rate of cure, remission or palliation is significantly higher for those receiving the experimental treatment than for those who received the conventional treatment or placebo, then one may infer that the experimental treatment is preferable.
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