Ethical and policy issues in cluster randomized trials
2008 - 2013
The gap between medical evidence and medical practice is one of the most important challenges for the health of Canadians. The cluster randomized trial (CRT) is the major methodological tool in use in the development of new interventions to bridge the gap between evidence and practice. This project brings together clinical trialists, biostatisticians, and philosophers to address ethical and policy obstacles to the conduct of CRTs. The project uses an innovative “mixed methods” approach to document current practice and analyze ethical issues. A major outcome is the development of international ethics guidelines for CRTs.
Ethical issues in neuroimaging after serious brain injury
2014 - 2018
With 50,000 new cases occurring each year in Canada, serious brain injuries place an enormous burden on patients, families, and the healthcare system. Following a period of coma, some patients make a good recovery, while others progress into a vegetative state. Neuroimaging offers the prospect of improved prediction of patient outcome and increased diagnostic accuracy. Remarkably, in 3 cases, neuroimaging has been used to communicate with patients thought to be vegetative. Neuroimaging after serious brain injury raises difficult ethical issues that must be addressed before it can be responsibly adopted in practice. Our research team brings together philosophers, neurologists, and neuroscientists to provide answers to these difficult problems.