Optimizing care in medical toxicology necessitates designing and conducting ethical research. Nevertheless, the context of medical toxicology can make clinical research ethically challenging for a variety of reasons: medical toxicology is typified by relative rare conditions; making precise and rapid diagnoses is often fraught with uncertainty; emergent and urgent clinical exigencies make consent difficult or impossible; and some exposures are stigmatized or related to illegal activities that can compromise collecting accurate data from patients. In this paper, we examine some of the ethical issues in medical toxicology research that are especially salient in effort to promote optimal research in the field. The particular issues to be addressed are as follows: (1) rare conditions and orphan agents, (2) randomization and control arms, (3) inclusion and exclusion criteria, (4) outcome measures, (5) consent, (6) confidentiality, (7) registries, (8) oversight, and (9) transparency and reporting. Thinking about these ethical issues prospectively will help researchers and clinicians appropriately navigate them.
- Medical toxicology
- Research ethics
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis