Clinical trials of placebo for heart failure victims to begin WITHOUT patient consent (#UK #Health)

paramedsA mass ‘experiment’ is due to begin on 8,000 unsuspecting members of the public who experience heart failure as paramedics are forced to use a placebo of salt and water instead of adrenalin.

The ‘double-blind’ trial is being introduced in Wales, the West Midlands, the North East, the south east coast, and in London, and is scheduled to start in the autumn.

When paramedics are called to a case of heart failure, they will be unaware if they are administering adrenalin or the placebo, with a 50/50 chance of wither being used.

The patient will be unable to give their consent to being a guinea pig in the research being conducted by the Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick.

The experiment has been approved by the Oxford Research Ethics Committee and is funded by the National Institute for Health Research.

If someone dies before they are told that they are part of the trial, relatives will not be informed. The only way they will know is by telephoning on and advertisement poster and asking if their relative was one of the research subjects.

In an article in the Coventry Telegraph, Dr Martin Underwood who heads the research team said “There are serious concerns among the clinical and academic community that the use of adrenalin in cardiac arrest might be causing more harm than good.

“Adrenalin has been used as treatment for over fifty years but it’s never been studied to show that it improves long-term survival. There’s a concern that it may be causing brain damage and make people worse.”

While we appreciate that it is difficult to conduct research of this kind, the unauthorised participation of a person in a clinical trial should cause considerable concern.

Not only could the person be unwittingly taking part in something which could cause their death, it also sets a precedent for other research to be conducted without the participants knowledge or consent.

It is unacceptable that academics and ‘committees’ can make these kind of decisions with no consultation of those who may be affected, both directly and indirectly. Before we know it, these committees could be conducting all kind of experiments on the general public without consent – where will it stop.

 

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