Doctors at Newcastle’s Calvary Mater Hospital recruiting patients into clinical trials involving a drug derived from thalidomide, a drug known to cause serious birth defects, have been prevented from giving patients information about contraception.
Patients are provided with a ‘statement of reproductive risks’ but not advice about how to prevent pregnancy.
Dr Michael Seldon, staff specialist haematologist at the hospital said he wants to offer the contraception advice to patients joining the trial but is restricted to providing oral information only.
The president of the Clinical Oncological Society of Australia said that giving advice on avoiding pregnancy was ‘a necessary duty of care and what we’d expect from our members. If there are clinicians who feel in a quandary here, then that is a concern.’