Use of placebo in studies of postoperative vomiting is unethical

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.313.7051.233 (Published 27 July 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:233
  1. Aileen K Adams
  1. Retired consultant anaesthetist 12 Redwood Lodge, Grange Road, Cambridge CB3 9AR

    EDITOR,—Minerva refers to a paper quoting an incidence of postoperative vomiting of 22% despite the use of an antiemetic drug and describes this as “a depressingly high figure.”1 2 I agree, but I find even more depressing the fact that researchers in 1996, with the consent of ethics committees, should think it justifiable to use placebos in a study of this nature.

    The incidence of postoperative nausea and vomiting, when no measures are …

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