A critique of clinical equipoise therapeutic misconception in the ethics of clinical trials

Franklin G. Miller, Howard Brody

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

280 Scopus citations


A predominant ethical view holds that physician-investigators should conduct their research with therapeutic intent. And since a physician offering a therapy wouldn't prescribe second-rate treatments, the experimental intervention and the best proven therapy should appear equally effective. "Clinical equipoise" is necessary. But this perspective is flawed. The ethics of research and of therapy are fundamentally different, and clinical equipoise should be abandoned.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-28
Number of pages10
JournalHastings Center Report
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2003
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health Policy
  • Nursing(all)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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