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Some Boston physicians push for research without patient permission

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Scan showing cerebral contusions, hemorrhage within the hemispheres, subdural hematoma and skull fractures.

The Boston Globe reports that a group of Boston doctors proposes to join research that would involve “emergency treatment for brain-injured patients without obtaining the trauma victims’ consent, arguing that they often arrive at the hospital unconscious or without family members who can speak on their behalf.”

“Federal law and the generally accepted ethics of medical research require that patients or their surrogates be told about any risks of participating in a study and have the chance to refuse enrollment. But the law allows for an exemption in certain cases involving emergency care.”

“The study team, from Boston Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital, wants to join a national trial looking at whether giving the hormone progesterone to patients in the hours immediately after a traumatic brain injury could prevent further neurologic damage.”






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