UBC Reports | Vol. 47 | No. 02 | Jan.
Policy needs attention
After reading the Globe and Mail series on drug trials in
I recognized that human experimentation standards and conflict of
vary dramatically across Canadian universities.
However, a quote from Richard Spratley, acting associate vice-president of
Research at UBC, suggested that our standards may be too low
to other occupations.
Specifically, when questioned about informing patients of a
interest in a given study/product, Dr. Spratley supposedly
responded, "We don't
include that. We look very carefully at the experiment but I am not sure the
corporate stuff makes a huge difference." (Globe and
Mail, Monday, Jan. 1, page A5.)
However, in the `real' world, disclosure of personal financial interests is the
For example, if a real estate agent owns a portion of property that he/she is
selling, they must by law disclose this interest. Failure to do so
automatically results in the loss of one's real estate license.
Expecting such disclosure in a doctor/patient relationship appears to me
fundamental for truly informed consent to occur.
Moreover failing to comply with standard social norms for conflict of interest
issues permits the public to question the motives of the UBC
Although I understand these matters are being reviewed, I believe they should
be rectified immediately as they should never have occurred.
Prof. Campbell M. Clark