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December 8, 1999

Moderate- vs High-Dose Methadone for Opioid Dependence

Author Affiliations

Phil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthorMargaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorStephenLurieMD PhD, Fishbein FellowIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1999;282(22):2121-2123. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-282-22-jbk1208

To the Editor: For more than 50 years, there has been agreement in scientific investigations that "the voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential."1 The article by Dr Strain and colleagues2 comparing different doses of methadone prescribed for the treatment of narcotic addiction raises a fundamental question: Can consent to participate in an experimental protocol be deemed "voluntary" when it is the only means of access to a medication of known efficacy in reducing morbidity and mortality?