Prof. Campbell moves
The Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol, has inaugurated a new chair of Medical Ethics. Alistair V Campbell who was the Director of the Bioethics Research Centre [Otago, New Zealand] and Professor of Biomedical ethics from April 1990 to July 1996 is the first appointee to the chair. Professor Campbell, a theologian and a non-medical person is a well known figure in the field of bioethics. He is the founding editor of Journal of Medical Ethics and is the author of Practical Medical Ethics, Rediscovering Pastoral Care andPaid to Care: The limits of professionalism in pastoral care – clearly indicating his ability and expertise in two fields which are apparently quite diverse. In an interview, he explained that the fundamental task of any ethics committee was to take an objective look at the risks and benefits of a procedure or trial. He also stated that a clinical trial was of two types – therapeutic and safety trial. In a safety trial, the aim was to confirm that a substance had no adverse side- effects and was safe; a therapeutic trial has to be beneficial to the participants. It is important to differentiate between the two for ethical reasons.
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