Show Summary Details
Page of

The Practice of Experimentation 

The Practice of Experimentation
The Practice of Experimentation

Charles Fried

, Franklin Miller

, and Alan Wertheimer

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 19 April 2021

The ethical analysis and the display of the contradictions are finally brought to bear on the practice of experimentation. Several examples of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) are presented and analyzed. The concept of professional knowledge, which is distinguished from habitual practice and untested hunches, is introduced. Professional knowledge is increasingly scientifically validated knowledge. And so the careful practitioner may well hesitate between two hypotheses—this is the case of equipoise, which justifies randomized assignment. Even so, rights in experimentation (lucidity and the duty of candor, the patient’s autonomy, and the duty of fidelity to the patient) may interfere with rigorous, double-blind randomization. Alternatives to the RCT are considered, and the use of paid subjects is discussed.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.