Our decisive “No” to unproven interventions – British Medical Journal calls for the conduct of randomized placebo controlled clinical trials of parachutes
It is widely (and nowadays also deeply) known that there are far too many intervention methods that are more (but most likely – less) successfully implemented worldwide without any proof of efficacy per the standards of evidence-based medicine. In other words, despite their widespread use for decades, literally, no one ever bothered to conduct any randomized placebo controlled double blinded prospective trials for such interventions, that can’t help but provoke righteous indignation of evidence-based medicine zealots. Poor attempts to advocate the use of such interventions by the duration of real-life use can’t really serve as any justification because without systematic approach and control group all conclusions are limited and biased in the obscure direction.
Professor Gordon Smith from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of Cambridge with some consultant called Jill Pell from the Department of Public Health in greater Glasgow, raised the issue of lack of any audible proof of efficacy of parachutes in the prevention of severe trauma and probable death related to gravitational challenge, in British Medical Journal. After thorough literature search authors were horrified to discover that there are virtually no randomized placebo-controlled trials of parachutes while parachute industry reassuringly sells these unproven devices to millions of users worldwide.
Authors came to a disappointing conclusion about the imperfection of assessment of intervention efficacy nowadays, and strongly encourage the most ardent advocates of evidence-based medicine to volunteer participating in a randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial of parachute efficacy. 15 years passed since this appeal but looks like it is stuck in first gear…