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boooooooooo_cowboys t1_its9ya3 wrote

>At this point, I feel like there's an ethical issue because are we not knowingly taking individuals with a life threatening illness and deliberately giving them a non treatment?

They wouldn’t be given no medical treatment at all. The control group typically gets whatever the standard treatment is for that condition, while the experimental group gets the new treatment (sometimes on top of the treatment that the control group is getting).

The question being asked by a clinical trial is rarely “does this drug work” it’s “is this drug better than the standard of care”. That’s kind of why the the staunchest defenders of Ivermectin for Covid treatment are wasting their time. It doesn’t really matter if technically there is some slight biological impact on the virus. If it isn’t better than current treatments (which are quite a bit better than they were in Spring 2020) than we have no use for it.


meontheinternetxx t1_ittv8fi wrote

How (if at all) would you make that (double) blind though? For "normal" double blind with placebo, this is as "easy" as making a placebo that resembles the real treatment. But with existing methods this sounds like it could often be obvious which one you're getting, no?


Beginning_Swim_4820 t1_ituqh2q wrote

If the standard of care (SoC) and trial drug have different administration routes, then sometimes there can be two placebos involved to mimic either the SoC or the trial drug. E.g. Cohort A will receive SoC pill and a placebo injection, Cohort B will receive a placebo pill and trial drug injection.


chemical_sunset t1_itutai3 wrote

Yes, exactly this. I have aggressive MS and have been looking into clinical trials, and this is how one of them was set up.


SeattleBattles t1_itu0yw5 wrote

Many studies are not blind as that would simply be impossible, unethical, or both. But with most things like cancer you don't really have to worry about things like placebo effects as you have objective measures like tumor growth.