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What research regulation should do

‘If ethicists and others want something to criticise in clinical trials, they should look at scientifically inadequate work, reinvention of wheels, and above all, unjustifiable exclusions and unjust and irrational uses of resources. The present debate is flawed by a failure to take note of what trials are for – to make sure that the treatments we use are safe, and do what they do better than the alternatives. There are no short cuts in ethics – no more than in trials.’

Ashcroft R. Giving medicine a fair trial. BMJ 2000;320:1686.