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Office of News & Public Affairs

Nursing Doctoral Student Wins Essay Prize

CHESTNUT HILL, MA (Summer 2010) -- Connell School of Nursing graduate student Doug Schlichting has been awarded a student essay prize by the International Philosophy of Nursing Society (IPONS) for his paper "Destabilizing the 'equipoise' framework in clinical trials: Prioritizing non-exploitation as an ethical framework in clinical research." Schlichting’s paper will be published in the prestigious international journal Nursing Philosophy, and he will present his work at the IPONS annual conference in September.

"This is a very competitive award and a significant accomplishment for Doug," said Connell School Associate Professor Pamela Grace

Doug Schlichting

Schlichting, a clinical research scientist with Eli Lilly and Company, is a doctoral candidate at the Connell School.

His paper examines "equipoise" -- a framework used by clinical reseachers that supposes a state of indifference between two alternative methods of treatment or delivery of healthcare. Schlichting's paper offers a critique of equipoise based on healthcare, research and ethics literature and argues that another framework, non-exploitation, better meets the needs of researchers to conduct ethical clinical trials and the obligations to human subjects.

"I was thrilled and very surprised when I learned I was selected as a winner of the student paper contest," said Schlichting. "This is a new area of thinking for me that evolved during my studies at BC and I am honored to be recognized by this prestigious group.

"I am looking forward to the feedback from experts in the field during the IPONS congress in September," he added.

--Kathleen Sullivan, Boston College Office of News & Public Affairs,