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Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Faculty Publications

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2001

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The Use Of Placebos In Clinical Trials: Responsible Research Or Unethical Practice?, Sharona Hoffman Jan 2001

The Use Of Placebos In Clinical Trials: Responsible Research Or Unethical Practice?, Sharona Hoffman

Faculty Publications

Developments in medical research have been occurring at a rapidly increasing rate during the past two decades. Expanding budgets, augmented computer capabilities, and new research tools have all dramatically enhanced research technology. Accompanying the proliferation of medical research are increasing concerns about research risks. This article focuses on placebo-controlled clinical trials. The use of placebos enables clinical investigators to compare results from subjects taking an experimental intervention to results from a group that is receiving an inactive substance, such as a sugar pill, in order to determine the efficacy of the new medication. In recent years, some surgeons have also ...