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Federal rules allow experimental procedures without consent

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USA Today has a nice piece about a broad federal regulation that allows researchers to test emergency treatments on patients with specific, life-threatening medical conditions without their explicit consent, so long as they remain under close watch of independent reviewers.

The newspaper report is based on an article that just appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association (abstract here).

A simultaneous "open letter" to national review boards, in the American Journal of Bioethics, points out that the experiemental procedures are sometimes more dangerous than the approved alternatives, which are withheld from the nonconsenting patients. This is ethically intolerable to the authors of the open letter, and also to yours truly.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute


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The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.