Ethical Issues in Research to Improve the Management of Malignant Bowel Obstruction: Challenges and Recommendations

Alice Laneader, Peter Angelos, Betty R. Ferrell, Ann Kolker, Thomas Miner, Geraldine Padilla, Julie Swaney, Robert S. Krouse, David Casarett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Research to improve the care of patients with malignant bowel obstruction (MBO) is urgently needed. In particular, there is an urgent need for high-quality descriptive research, including prospective cohort studies, as well as randomized controlled trials to define optimal management strategies. However, investigators and clinicians face numerous barriers in conducting high-quality research in this patient population. These barriers include lack of funding, difficulties in identifying eligible patients, and a variety of practical and methodological challenges of designing these studies. In addition, there are a variety of ethical challenges that arise in the design and conduct of studies of MBO and particularly in the conduct of clinical trials. In this article, we address four categories of ethical issues: study design, recruitment, informed consent, and Institutional Review Board review. For each, we outline salient issues and suggest recommendations for enhancing the ethics of MBO studies, including interventional trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S20-S27
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Issue number1 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • End of life
  • ethics
  • palliative care
  • research ethics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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