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Related to equipoise: Clinical equipoise
1. Equilibrium; an even distribution of weight.
2. In epidemiology, a state of uncertainty as to the balance of benefits and harm that may result from two or more therapeutic regimens. A state of e. is an indication for a randomized controlled trial.
[equi- + M.E. poisen, weigh, fr. Fr. peser, fr. L.L. peso, fr. L. penso]
A state of genuine uncertainty regarding the benefits or disadvantages of either therapeutic arm of a clinical trial; because a clinical investigator may become biased as a clinical study progresses, given his or her perception of the benefits or adverse effects of one of the therapeutic regimens being evaluated, he or she may enroll fewer and fewer patients in the arm perceived to be less beneficial (due to ethical considerations), and may ultimately defeat the very purpose of the study due to lack of patients in the control arm. A moral exit to this dilemma known as “clinical equipoise” is possible, since genuine uncertainty exists in the expert medical community at large; the investigator may thus continue to enroll control patients “blindly”, despite his or her bias.
(upper case) A device invented at the turn of the 20th century by Heracles Sanche, the self-proclaimed Discoverer of the Laws of Spontaneous Cure of Disease, which he alleged supplied the needed electrical force to the system and optimised the absorption of oxygen from the lungs through heat; the device’s opened metal cylinder proved to be empty.
equipoiseMedical ethics A state of uncertainty regarding the pros or cons of either therapeutic arm in a clinical trial
In the design of clinical trials, a state in which the risks and benefits of alternative treatments offered during the trial are balanced, so that no pre-existing advantage is known to exist for one treatment arm over the other. This is a required ethical consideration in clinical research.