The Ethics of Using Innovative Therapies in the Care of Children
Eyadhy, Ayman Al
Paediatrics & child health 2008 Mar; 13(3): 181-4
An innovative therapy is a newly introduced or modified therapy with unproven effect or side effect, and is undertaken in the best interest of the patient. The ethical use of innovative therapies has been controversial. In paediatrics, the conflict between withholding potential rescue therapy and protecting a vulnerable population's rights and welfare must be considered. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure that this innovation is conducted within an ethical framework that recognizes that the therapy is not standard. This should integrate the patient's autonomy, the role of the institution, professional consensus and innovation evaluation. Innovative therapy represents a justifiable departure from inferior conventional therapy in the absence of an accepted standard therapy. Innovation shares with research its experimental nature, but differs from research in its goal and context that exempts innovative therapy from direct governance by research ethics board. Innovative therapy is part of the continuum of hypothesis generation in the advancement of medical knowledge, and its evaluation is a transforming point for clinical research.
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