Friday, November 30, 2007

Silghtest Wisps of Hope

One of my students recently described patients who want to try stem cells now as “willing to invest in the slightest wisps of hope.” That volunteering scares those who love the risk-taking patients, as eloquently portrayed in His Brother’s Keeper: A Story from the Edge of Medicine by Jonathan Weiner. But in some sense, it’s the basis of ‘progress’ in medicine…the only way a new method can be established is by clinical trials, and without patients willing to risk them, none would occur.