NIH Funding for Major Bioethics Project

You are here

CBSSM Co-director Scott Kim, MD, PhD, has recentlybeen funded by the NIH for a project on therapeutic misconception and the ethics of sham surgery. Ethicists have raisedconcerns that elderly patients with a progressively debilitating disease suchas Parkinson’s disease (PD) may be too vulnerable for research that involvesnovel, invasive interventions thatuse a controversial masking design, i.e., sham neurosurgical controls. Arethese subjects laboring under a therapeutic misconception, erroneously believing that research, rather than being anexperimental procedure for the sake of creating knowledge to help futurepatients, is actually a novel form of treatment intended to help them? Dr.Kim’s project will study four actual PDclinical trials that involve a sham surgery control. Collaborators include R. DeVries, K. Kieburtz, R. Wilson, S.Frank, and H.M. Kim. Pilot funding came from the Michael J. Fox Foundation.