The Practical and Ethical Defects of Surgical Randomised Prospective Trials
Journal of Medical Ethics. 1983 Jun; 9(2): 90-93.
Despite current enthusiasm for clinical randomized prospective studies in surgery, Byer, himself a surgeon, sees little merit in this method of evaluating experimental procedures. Problems in selection of patient populations, data collection and evaluation, the rigidity of protocol requirements, and the danger of obsolescence before completion of a study may expose patients to unnecessary risks and create ethical dilemmas for physicians. In his brief commentary, Baum, also a surgeon, vigorously defends randomized controlled trials and criticizes Byer's approach to scientific inquiry, which favors small study groups, case reports, and other "anecdotal" observations. (KIE abstract)
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