Hope And The Limits Of Research

680 words - 3 pages

The case "Hope and Limits of Research" portraits a very common scenario in current fast-evolving medical field and a possible ethical dilemma : an almost foreseeable future for the end-stage tumor patients and the hope (may actually be an hype) for cutting edge research. Both Susanne and Margaret are end-stage breast cancer patients. Dr.Tetler, their oncologist, treated Susanne and Margaret with current established medical procedures but no favorable outcome. As the principal investigator for a phase II trial for a new chemotherapy agent, Dr.Tetler is responsible for the patients recruitment and evaluation of the effects of the new drug. Two potential candidates for new drug trial possess an ...view middle of the document...

Tetler should not put patient's social-economical situation into consideration for his subject enrollments. From this point, Susanne is more vulnerable than Margaret. Even including Susanne in the trial might result in no research data obtained from her due to missed appointment etc, As one of Dr.Tetler's patient (as opposed of merely being study subject), Susanne deserves the latest treatment from Dr.Tetler due to a potential cure of the new drug (even the chance is slim). While the trial organizer (pharmaceutical company) might loss certain portion of their investment in the trial due to Susanne's missed appointment, as a human being, I believe, Susanne should be enrolled in the study. Dr.Tetler should only consider the eligibility based on scientific criteria rather than social-economical considerations of research subjects.

Since the trial led by Dr.Tetler is almost the last straw of potential cure for end-stage breast cancers, both Susanne and Margaret are equally vulnerable due to the end-stage nature of their cancers. Even this trial could offer a hope for their...

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