Opinion: GoFundMe should stop embracing and promoting unproven clinical research

#GoFundMe needs to do better to prevent its platform from being used to raise money for unproven and dangerous medical treatments.
Tubes of homeopathic granules Source: LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images

Medical crowdfunding, a large and rapidly growing practice dominated by the website GoFundMe, can be a lifesaver for people who find themselves unable to access cancer treatments, surgery, or other essential medical services due to gaps in insurance coverage or the failure of public institutions to meet their needs. But it is also helping raise funds for scientifically unproven and potentially dangerous medical treatments that are often packaged as legitimate clinical research and trials. Instead of trying to put a stop to these shady practices, GoFundMe is actually promoting them.

Although crowdfunding is a flawed solution to lack of access to health care, GoFundMe correctly sees the use of its services as a response to real and devastating health system failures, especially in the U.S. Some individuals

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from STAT

STAT9 min read
While Addiction Crisis Raged, Many Surgeons Overprescribed Opioids, Analysis Shows
Amid the addiction crisis, thousands of surgeons continued to hand out far more pills than needed for postoperative pain relief.
STAT9 min read
Employers Are Steering Workers Toward A Controversial Stem Cell Therapy
A stem cell clinic has persuaded over 100 employers to include its controversial therapy in their health insurance plans.
STAT10 min readSociety
The 23 Best Health And Science Books To Read This Summer
Need a new book to dive into? Check out the great health, medicine, and science reads on STAT's annual summer book list.