DISCUSSION: The second paragraph starts with “unfortunately”. This paragraph is describing a problem with theoretical equipoise: it’s too strict. Enforcing theoretical equipoise makes it very hard to do studies.
Most wrong answers contradict the passage.
- Clinical equipoise doesn’t even appear until the third paragraph. The second paragraph can’t be about clinical equipoise.
Also, there is no conflict between the view in paragraphs two and three. It’s all the same view: the author’s opinion! It can be summed up as: theoretical equipoise has problems, we should use clinical equipoise.
- The second paragraph actually never says what factors lead doctors to prefer one treatment over another.
- Careful. It’s true the second paragraph is attacking theoretical equipoise. But not by “undermining the moral principle” underlying theoretical equipoise. The underlying principle is neutrality, and the author doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with that, in principle.
The second paragraph instead undermines theoretical equipoise in practice.
- CORRECT. The main difficulty is a practical one. The second paragraph explains why theoretical equipoise is almost impossible to apply in the real world.
- The author doesn’t think there is an inherent conflict of interest in equipoise. If researchers truly believed two treatments were equally likely to be the best, then there would be no problem testing them.
There’s only a conflict when physicians believe one treatment is better but are also required to believe both treatments are equal.
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