Questioning the Methodologic Superiority of ‘Placebo’ Over ‘Active’ Controlled Trials

@article{Howick2009QuestioningTM,
  title={Questioning the Methodologic Superiority of ‘Placebo’ Over ‘Active’ Controlled Trials},
  author={Jeremy Howick},
  journal={The American Journal of Bioethics},
  year={2009},
  volume={9},
  pages={34 - 48}
}
  • J. Howick
  • Published 25 August 2009
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • The American Journal of Bioethics
A resilient issue in research ethics is whether and when a placebo-controlled trial (PCT) is justified if it deprives research subjects of a recognized treatment. The clinicians' moral duty to provide the best available care seems to require the use of ‘active’ controlled trials (ACTs) that use an established treatment as a control whenever such a therapy is available. In another regard, ACTs are supposedly methodologically inferior to PCTs. Hence, the moral duty of the clinical researcher to… 

Ethical Issues in the Difference Between Placebo-Controlled and Active-Controlled Trials

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  • Psychology
    The American journal of bioethics : AJOB
  • 2009
TLDR
The ethical implications of Howick’s theory regarding a few aspects of informed consent and equipoise are considered, including whether active-controlled trials (ACTs) are methodologically inferior to placebocontrolled trials (PCTs), are considered.

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The ethical premises that create Howick’s (2009) dilemma are flawed and it is argued previously that it is better to refrain from using phrases like “the best available treatment” (Van der Graaf, Van Delden 2009, 37).

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The legitimate worries behind assay sensitivity can be better understood as the need for researchers to articulate their experimental heuristics and to demonstrate a robust pattern of evidence across a series of trials.

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    The American journal of bioethics : AJOB
  • 2009
TLDR
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TLDR
It is shown that with four modifications, Grünbaum’s definition provides a defensible account of placebos for the purpose of constructing placebo controls within clinical trials.
...

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