In DepthBioethics

Call to halt heart trial raises vexing questions

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Science  11 Aug 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6351, pp. 538-539
DOI: 10.1126/science.357.6351.538

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Charging that thousands of patients are being misled and may be unnecessarily placed at increased risk of death, a U.S. watchdog group last week demanded that federal regulators suspend a major clinical trial exploring when to offer blood transfusions after a heart attack. The group, Public Citizen in Washington, D.C., expressed concern about “regulatory and ethical lapses,” but the trial’s organizers and backers denied that accusation and defended it as necessary to answer a key question that hospitals face every day. The resulting debate among cardiologists, ethicists, and trial designers underscores vexing issues in clinical medicine.