Research Article: How Can We Draw the Line between Clinical Care and Medical Research?

Date Published: November 27, 2007

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): unknown

Abstract: What can editors do to help resolve misinterpretation of the boundary between clinical care and medical research?

Partial Text: A Policy Forum published in this month’s PLoS Medicine highlights an issue that the PLoS Medicine editors have often debated: when research takes place within the context of clinical care, how can we distinguish which activities constitute care, and which research? The World Medical Association Code of Medical Ethics declares that a physician must always “act in the patient’s best interest when providing medical care” [1]. Yet increasingly physicians also undertake research, which involves possibly unknown risks and benefits. These risks, and the uncertainty of benefit, might therefore conflict with a patient’s best interests.



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