Thrombolytic Treatment For Acute Ischaemic Stroke: Consent Can Be Ethical

March 27, 1998

(Thrombolytic treatment for acute ischaemic stroke: consent can be ethical)

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Substantiating his case with a practical case study, in this week's BMJ Lindley argues that taking Doyal's approach would rule out trials of many forms of medical and surgical treatment for a wide range of disabling and life threatening conditions. He asks if it is ethical to condemn millions of "mentally incompetent" patients to no prospect of improving their health because they are unable to give fully informed consent. He argues that a better guideline for ethical trials would be "is this treatment promising" and are the potential risks deemed "acceptable by the public".


Richard Lindley, Part-time Senior Lecturer, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Edinburgh University, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh

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