Protecting the public from the adverse effects of confused research ethics

Iain Chalmers, Paul Glasziou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Neglecting treatment uncertainties leads to avoidable suffering.

Healthcare abounds with uncertainties about the effects of treatments. When therapeutic uncertainties have not been addressed, subsequent research has gone on to show, in retrospect, that patients had suffered and died unnecessarily. Suffering has occurred either because patients have been prescribed treatments that turned out to do more harm than
good (steroids for traumatic brain injury, for example); or because helpful treatments had not been recognised earlier to be beneficial (for example, steroids given to women expected to deliver babies prematurely). In these ways, patients and the public have suffered from failures to facilitate and promote research to address uncertainties about the effects of treatment already being used in routine care.
Original languageEnglish
Article number01410768211051720
Pages (from-to)507-512
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Royal Society of Medicine
Issue number11
Early online date26 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


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