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Title: The ethical implications of sham surgery in the context of Parkinson's disease
Author: Swift, Teresa Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 2719 364X
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2011
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In this thesis I explore the ethical debate over the use of 'sham surgery' control groups in the context of neurosurgical research for Parkinson's Disease, with specific reference to brain surgery techniques involving fetal cell transplantation. I use a 'dual mode' approach involving both theoretical ethical analysis and qualitative empirical research conducted with people with Parkinson's Disease and their relatives. A theoretical and organisational structure for this thesis is provided by the 'three approaches' framework for ethical analysis of clinical research developed by Clare Foster. This framework addresses three broad areas of moral concern in research: i) use of a scientifically appropriate methodology, ii) the duty to protect patients' best interests and iii) consideration of research participants' autonomy. Drawing on both theoretical analysis and the empirical data generated I conclude that the use of sham surgery control groups in the PD cell transplantation trials under discussion was problematic from all three of these ethical perspectives. A prohibition against all forms of sham surgery is not supported, however, and features which might make a sham-controlled surgical trial less ethically contentious are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available