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Warning to physicians, researchers: First, don’t fool yourselves

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“King Lear and the Fool in the Storm,” by William Dyce

Shannon Brownlee, of the Lown Institute, in a piece about big economic conflicts of interest involving physicians, researchers and the drug and device companies that try to influence them, writes:

“Do I think pharmaceutical and device companies are run entirely by evil people? Of course not. They are working within the rules they’ve been given. Do I think researchers who have conflicts of interest are unethical and greedy? I’m sure some of them are, but most are simply kidding themselves that they can take the money, allow industry to control the agenda, and still conduct unbiased research. As physicist Richard Feynman once said, the first principle of good science is you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.”

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