Pediatric Predicament

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Parents considering whether to enroll a sick son or daughter in a clinical trial often face a barrage of conflicting emotions. On one hand, they hope that the experiment will lead to a break-through in treatment. notes Scientific Americans On the other, they must deal with the uncertainty and fear that come from willingly exposing their child to an unproven therapy that could turn out to be ineffective or even more harmful than standard treatment. What parents may not anticipate, however, is that their child’s contribution to scientific understanding could also be squandered on a study that is never completed or that fails to be published in the medical literature.

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