Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Recruitment for Psychiatric Treatment Trials: An Ethical Investigation

Abstract of the Report (Paid Access for full article)

This article is about ethics, specifically, the myriad of unethical practices characterizing recruitment for psychiatric trials.

Using a case study approach, honing on recruitment material, and examining the typical, the author explores recruitment in two studies—one involving electroconvulsive therapy, the other, a psychiatric drug. The bulk of the article is on these trials.

The ethical problems which surface include
  • minimization of risk;
  • euphemism;
  • lack of transparency;
  • false and misleading claims,
  • unfair inducement;
  • failure to mention most of the common and serious negative effects;
  • and a predatory quality.
The author also identifies some worrisome new trends. Of special interest to the humanistic counselor is the attempt to implicate people’s own counselors and therapists in recruitment.

The article ends with reflections on the onus that such practices place on all practitioners striving to be ethical.

The author concludes that it is critical that counselors and therapists not be complicit and beyond that they take it on themselves to confront and expose. Concrete practice suggestions include adopting an explicit policy against such referrals, alerting any clients who may be considering such trials of the danger, and countering false claims.

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