Clinical Trials And Premature Babies

Clinical Trials And Premature Babies

Many universities reportedly failed to inform parents about the risks to their premature babies of an oxygen study. Understanding risks and benefits of clinical trials.

The decision to be part of a clinical trial isn’t an easy one, but it’s an especially hard decision for parents. Thousands of families agreed to allow their premature babies to take part in a government-funded study. Now, a federal agency has found that a number of major universities failed to tell them that the study of oxygen levels for their very premature babies could cause blindness or death. The study’s designers say that the risk of blindness should have been more clearly explained, but that the infants were within the standard of care. Others say the lack of disclosure was unethical. Diane and guests discuss balancing the risks and benefits of clinical trials.


Dr. Michael Carome

deputy director, health research group Public Citizen.

Arthur Caplan

director of the division of medical ethics, New York University Langone Medical Center.

Dr. Kevin Donovan

director, Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics at Georgetown University Medical Center.

Dr. Edward Bell

professor of pediatrics, University of Iowa

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