Category: Ethics

For-profit stem cell clinics, universities, and “pay-to-play” clinical trials for autism

Stem cell therapies show great promise, but as yet the vast majority of that promise has not been validated in rigorous clinical trials. Unfortunately, for-profit stem cell clinics are running clinical trials that require patients to pay to be part of it. These trials are not rigorous. Even more unfortunately, it appears that some universities are also running "pay-to-play" clinical trials that...

/ July 29, 2019

Coca-Cola and Corporate Sponsored Research

A new study reveals that Coca-Cola included restrictive clauses in some research funding contracts. This is a good opportunity to review how such behavior can be stopped.

/ May 8, 2019

Medical Apartheid

Harriet Washington's book tells the dark history of medical experimentation on black Americans. It also reveals broader problems of inequality, poor science, and human failures.

/ April 9, 2019

The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment: A Fiasco with a Silver Lining

The Tuskegee syphilis experiment studied black men with advanced syphilis for 40 years. Patients were lied to and prevented from getting treatment. A black mark in the history of American medicine, it led to important reforms.

/ March 5, 2019

Flipping the Script In Action: The Nick Gundersen Case

The tragic consequences of a boy with leukemia and a mother who believed an alternative medicine documentary-maker over her son's oncologist.

/ March 1, 2019

BladderMax: Fake News and Outrageous Headlines

A newspaper ad for BladderMax is disguised as a news story reporting "the end of bladder leakages." The information is inaccurate and the headlines are preposterous.

/ December 11, 2018

A Culture of Standards Matters

Perhaps the most dangerous effect of the alternative medicine movement has been an erosion of the culture of dedication to science and standards within medicine. This has to change.

/ September 12, 2018

Clínica 0-19: False hope in Monterrey for brain cancer patients (part 2)

Last week, I discussed Clínica 0-19, a clinic in Monterrey, Mexico whose doctors claim to be able to treat the deadly brainstem cancer DIPG using intra-arterial chemotherapy and immunotherapy. This week, I discuss what I've learned since last week, specifically a lot more about just what it is that these doctors do, why it is scientifically dubious and unproven, and why I...

/ July 2, 2018

TIC’D OFF

Two years ago we discussed the TicTocStop, a dental appliance that the inventors assured us would help mitigate the symptoms of Tourette Syndrome. In the intervening years things have...not gone well. This illustrates the need for skepticism regarding questionable medical claims, and the importance of initiatives like AllTrials to ensure the good, the bad, and the ugly research is available to everyone.

/ May 4, 2018

Is the use of “Open-Label” Placebo Ethical in the Treatment of Children?

Is the use of "open-label" placebo ethical in pediatric medical care, or any care for that matter? A recent article in Pediatrics discussing this issue comes to a flawed conclusion based on a misunderstanding of placebo and of the literature on placebo without deception.

/ August 25, 2017