§ Dr. Roger Thomas
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will provide in the code of conduct on drug trials on patients that when a patient is included in a trial in a hospital the next of kin and the general practitioner concerned are informed.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
The Department does not provide a code of conduct on drug trials on patients in hospital. General guidance on the conduct of clinical trials is provided by medical professional bodies, and the ethical aspects of individuals trials are usually scrutinized by local committees established for the purpose. The information given to a patient or others is a matter for the professional judgment of the individual doctor. I would expect the patient to be informed that he was taking part in a trial in almost all cases, but ethical matters, including the range of other people who might be informed, must be a mater of judgment on the particular facts of each trial.