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July 26, 2000

β-Blockade for Patients With Heart Failure

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2000;284(4):436-437. doi:10.1001/jama.284.4.436

To the Editor: Dr Hjalmarson and colleagues1 provide data indicating that β-blockers reduce the mortality rate in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). They go on to state the need to assess other clinical outcomes. This raises obvious ethical issues of withholding proven therapy. This concern would remain even if the treatment in question became "standard of care" after the study was under way. In such a case, the trial should be ended or modified so that all patients would receive appropriate treatment.

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