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May 10, 2000

Protection for Human Subjects in Medical Research

Author Affiliations

Phil B.FontanarosaMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorStephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2000;283(18):2387-2390. doi:10.1001/jama.283.18.2387

To the Editor: Both Dr Woodward's1 article and Dr Ellis' Editorial are based on the premise that patients are at risk of having their protection "eroded" when they sacrifice themselves by participating in randomized clinical trials. The former author decries "new pressures to subordinate the interests of the subject to those of science and society," and the latter quotes from Katz et al, "When may a society . . . expose some of its members to harm in order to seek benefits for them, for others, or for society as a whole?" Even JAMA assumes that patients may be harmed in randomized clinical trials by offering continuing medical education credit for those who read Woodward's piece based on the educational objective: "To understand how medical research may threaten human subject protections."

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