1eye wrote:Careful: being involved in a study is no guarantee of anything. In fact, I think there are a lot less safeguards than there should be for people who are involved in studies.
I think we can all agree that nothing is a guarantee in life. I get behind the wheel everyday, risking fatal car crash beyond my control. But we all do these things, because the risk levels are known and we decide that they are low enough for us to drive (or whatever).
A research study in Canada is by law REQUIRED to go through stringent process of ethics (where a board of several physicians and usually other community members review the study, provide feedback as to what risks to patients safety or health has not been considered, then ask for revisions...and so on). The process takes months to a year (to make sure as much as possible is covered). It also goes through a separate board that reviews it specifically for randomized control trials - again, several more individuals who are not involved or invested in the study look at it from an outsider perspective to make sure the procedures are as safe as possible and that complications are minimized and there are sufficient plans of action for what to do if and when they occur. This is all the paperwork you refer to. It's there because if it wasn't, myself and other community members like me would be outraged. It's there to avoid the types of unreasonable experiments that used to be done on people without fully telling them the risks and just overemphasizing the potential benefits. THAT would be unethical. Paperwork is not the issue.
So, yes, studies going through these checks ARE safer than a doctor who decides to do this procedure on his/her own. This does not mean there are no risks - there always is. But it means that steps have been taken to minimize risks, make sure everyone is trained enough, and that there is a plan in advance to handle complications.
Not to mention the benefit to the rest of society when people volunteer for these studies as I mention above.