The directors of a new experimental drug test say some patients may be given the drug while they're unconscious and before they give consent.
University Hospital in San Antonio plans a trial of Vasopressin. The drug is thought to help survival rates for patients suffering hemorrhagic shock after a bad injury.
Drug studies typically require patient consent, but many patients in shock are unconscious. For this study, the patients may be given the drug and then notified when they wake up -- a method known as "deferred consent."
The Food and Drug Administration has granted the trial. And the study's directors plan ten meetings around South Texas to explain it to the public.
A hospital official says the study was proposed because doctors think the drug will make a difference.
A family member or other legal representative can exclude a patient from the study, or a patient can withdraw upon gaining consciousness.