Clinical trials & patients incapable of consent

Denise Parry has kindly drawn my attention to New Zealand media reports today, regarding the enrolment of unconscious patients in clinical trials for new antibiotic medications.

Although consent from relatives is to be obtained where possible and medical ethics committee approvals have been sought, the article identifies some of the difficult issues involved in such trials which focus on the best interests of the patients, but may not involve prior court approval.

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