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Joshua Crites and Eric Kodish focuses on unrealistic optimism as a significant factor in parental decisions when consenting for their child to participate in a phase I study.1 They define unrealistic optimism as ‘when people perceive their own personal outcomes as being more positive than those of other people in similar circumstances’. Faced with the dire circumstances of relapsed malignant disease with a fatal outcome, most parents are confronted with the dilemma of either accepting the inevitable death of their child or clinging to straws of hope. When approached by an investigator who suggests that there is still something that can be done in the ‘fight against the disease’ there is an opportunity to retain a glimmer of hope. No matter how impartial and accurate …
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
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