The Greatest Ethical Issues in Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials The Greatest Ethical Issues in Clinical Trials

Hippocrates’ Source of Pride—Ethical Issues in Clinical Trials Resolved

By definition, clinical trials are studies designed to test a novel medical approach to treating, preventing, and diagnosing diseases. Their purpose is to propel medical advancement and do so in a way that maximizes subjects’ safety.

The history of clinical trials is full of numerous breakthroughs, but controversies, too. Its dual nature is what prompted legal and scientific authorities to adopt strict laws and regulations guiding the conduct of clinical research.

If you want to participate in a clinical trial, DoNotPay can help you locate the ones suitable to you and teach you about clinical research ethics.


DoNotPay—The Clinical Trial Locator

Finding clinical studies and medical surveys organized by reputed public or private organizations can be a feat if you are short on time to browse through all the study details and eligibility criteria.

DoNotPay app offers you a singular experience via its clinical trial search tool.

What makes our platform different from any other database is that you can look for various types of clinical studies based on customization filters, including:

  • Drug
  • Safety
  • Location
  • Condition
  • Compensation
  • Research center

You can state if you don’t mind the placebo inclusion or if you’re only interested in remote or observational studies.

Here’s a preview of how the filters work to your advantage:

Treatment Location Research Organization
Opdivo Austin FDA
Immunotherapy Baltimore Worldwide
Gene therapy Kansas City MD Anderson
Ketamine New York City Mayo Clinic

To get a full experience, create a DoNotPay account in your web browser and do the following:

  1. Tap Clinical Trials
  2. Click Get Started and adjust the search filters
  3. Pick a study you like
  4. Hit Contact

We will forward your request to the research organization and bolster your chances of enrollment. The research staff should contact you within a few days and inform you about the next course of action.

What Are Some Unethical Practices in Clinical Trials?

Though the Hippocratic Oath has always been an ethical guide in medicine, little merit did it have in the most gruesome medical experiments in human history. One of those is the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, whose unethical practices included:

  • Withholding the study-related information from the subject
  • Depriving the subject of the study benefits
  • Exploiting the subject for the sake of scientific knowledge
  • Exposing the subject to unnecessary risks

Examples like these prompted the need for urgent ethical regulations.

Ethics in Clinical Trials—Codes

To avoid past mistakes, several ethical codes and regulations were introduced to provide the guidelines of Good Clinical Practice (GCP). Some of them are the:

  1. Nuremberg Code
  2. Belmont Report
  3. U.S. Common Rule
  4. Declaration of Helsinki

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates clinical research in all 50 states, making sure that each clinical trial phase meets scientific, legal, and ethical requirements.

Ethics in Clinical Trials—Principles

An ethical clinical trial rests upon the following principles:

  1. Scientific validity
  2. Social and clinical value
  3. Favorable risk-benefit ratio
  4. Fair subject selection
  5. Informed consent
  6. Respect for prospective and enrolled subjects
  7. Independent review

Scientific Validity

A study should be able to provide relevant information.

Achieved by:

  • Asking an answerable research question
  • Using valid and feasible methods, standard principles, and reliable practices
  • Having statistical plans for data analysis

Social and Clinical Value

Exposing subjects to risks is justifiable if the answer to the study question is valuable to society, regardless of whether the study results are positive or negative.

Favorable Risk-Benefit Ratio

The study is designed in a way that benefits outweigh risks or are at least proportionate to them. Uncertainty is inherent to clinical research, but the researchers should answer if they have done everything to:

  • Minimize the risks
  • Maximize the benefits

Fair Subject Selection

Participant selection depends on the scientific research goals and the risk-benefit ratio relevant to individuals and society.

Criteria to exclude:

  • Vulnerability
  • Privilege
  • Other study-unrelated factors

Informed Consent

Ethical research means allowing prospective subjects (or their proxies) to decide whether to participate or continue the study enrollment by ensuring that they:

  • Know the study purpose, risks, benefits, methods, and alternatives
  • Understand the relevance of the information for their situation
  • Realize that the process is completely voluntary

Respect for Prospective and Enrolled Subjects

The prospective and enrolled participants are entitled to respectful treatment. It applies even if they refuse participation.

Respectful treatment applies to:

  • The patient privacy confidentiality
  • Subject health monitoring and efficient response to adverse or unanticipated subject reactions
  • Keeping the subject informed about the study progression
  • Patient right to withdraw from the study at any time
  • Revealing the study results

Independent Review

An independent authority should review the study protocol and monitor its conduct to ensure that:

  • The research subjects have adequate protection
  • The researchers are unbiased
  • The study design is ethical and has an acceptable risk-benefit ratio

In the U.S., such assessment is carried out by:

  • Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)
  • Data and Safety Monitoring Boards (DSMBs)

Key Things To Consider Before Enrolling in a Clinical Trial

Before you decide to participate in a clinical trial, make sure to consult your physician. You need to get a professional opinion about your overall health.

If you decide to participate, you should remember that you have the right to:

  • Withdraw anytime without penalty
  • Know the study details that directly concern you
  • Request clarifications if anything arises that you don’t understand

What Other Clinical Trial Databases Can I Resort To?

If you decide against the DoNotPay trial search tool, you should know that other reliable (but not as versatile) sources are:

Still Wondering Why DoNotPay Is a Great Choice?

Our state-of-the-art matching algorithm ensures that you view only the results compatible with your preferences. You can change settings anytime and diversify your search process.

If this doesn’t suffice, take a look at other useful tricks we have in store for you:

  • Bookmarking feature—to save and monitor a study not yet recruiting or one you are not ready to apply for at the moment
  • Text message alert system—to get the latest updates about the newly-posted clinical trials in your area
  • Status tracking system—to monitor the progress of the studies you have applied for

You can apply for as many studies as you like via DoNotPay. Our extensive database features both the paid clinical trials for healthy volunteers and individuals with a particular health condition.

And one more thing! If you have applied for a paid clinical trial, you get to keep all the money! DoNotPay takes no cuts!

Countless Options With DoNotPay

The DoNotPay advanced search tool is resourceful enough to help you locate studies for eczema, depression, multiple sclerosis (MS), as well as pancreatic or ovarian cancer.

Are you more interested in medical procedures? You can apply for CRISPR, dental implants, and plastic or weight loss surgery clinical trials effortlessly with our AI-powered app.

Besides these, we can also help you with administrative processes, such as canceling the Ambetter insurance or IHC Health Solutions membership.

Log in to your DoNotPay account in any web browser, and view all the matters we can assist you with.

Here is the list of the services DoNotPay provides:


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