It's time for school children to learn about clinical research
We will all benefit from more knowledge!
As a coalition of patient organisations, physicians, health researchers, and health journalists we are concerned that public general knowledge about clinical research is very sparse, and virtually absent about why independent randomised clinical trials are needed. Most people will encounter clinical research for the first time when they or relatives are invited to participate in randomised clinical trials or other types of clinical research. This invitation often follows devastating news of the diagnosis of a serious health problem.
We propose that steps should be taken to equip European citizens with information and understanding which will help them deal effectively with the challenges in such situations. We want patients and their relatives to become better equipped to withstand the blows of a serious diagnosis followed by an invitation to participate in clinical research designed to deal with uncertainties about the relative merits of alternative management strategies. We propose that all schools introduce as part of their curriculum, three 2-day education workshops on the theme of clinical research over three consecutive years.