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Research trials!
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Joseph F Goldberg, MD posted:
Hello all - The website www.clinicaltrials.gov is a clearinghouse of information on treatment research studies around the country for mood disorders. If you've found traditional treatments not sufficiently helpful, consider looking into research protocols. You can search by geographic region and disorder and may find something close by that would be worth looking into.

- Dr. G.
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snowyowl33 responded:
Do we have one of those up here in Canada Doc??
People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost. Dalai Lama
 
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Joseph F Goldberg, MD replied to snowyowl33's response:
Presumably. I'm sure you can find out.

- Dr. G.
 
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Torcal responded:
I have never participated in a clinical trial but I do have real life concerns. Who pays the medical costs if the drug or other thing being tested results in injury - perhaps for life? I doubt that your regular insurer would underwrite your health resulting from an experiment gone bad. And by the time the damage shows up the researchers have scattered to the wind and you discover that you have released the hospital, university or clinic from all possible liabiity for the medical malpractice of the researchers.

I would never take part in one unless my doctor and medical insurer approved and I know that I won't be left helpless or bankrupt resulting from a permanent side effect of the experiment.
 
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Joseph F Goldberg, MD replied to Torcal's response:
Dear Torcal,

Research trials with treatments that are not otherwise available provide access to otherwise unavailable options for people who may otherwise have exhausted existing treatments. This is as true in psychiatry as it is in cancer or AIDS research. Other advantages for participating in research, apart from usually free care, are a higher level of monitoring and expertise than is often the case in standard treatments.

Research studies are unrelated to health insurance. They vary in their risks and benefits and provisions for possible damages. Typically, research studies offer short-term stabilization treatment in the event someone's condition worsens, but generally, in the informed consent process, it is usually stated that the subject understands the risks of being in a study and is aware there is usually no compensation or extended free care if a problem were to arise. Participation is always voluntary and people can revoke their consent typically at any point along the way.

Issues of liability and malpractice are the same in research as in routine treatment, and bears on whether a doctor fails to meet the standard of care, and this directly leads to unforeseen injuries.

Dr. G.


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