The Ethical Use of New Drugs
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The practice of medicine requires clinical judgments within the context of an inexact and very complicated science, the end result of which has profound implication for the welfare of patients. The ethical question for the practitioner is whether changing medications for the sake of research or other interests outside the patient can be justified for the sake of those interests, as long as the patient is at low risk for being harmed. My response to this question is that any clinical decision is ethically defensible only if it is reasonable to think that such a move is in the best interest of the patient, all other interests remaining secondary.