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I am looking for a phrase/idiom that expresses the risk of unforeseen consequences of an action. Fake context: someone develops a treatment for cancer that is later found to cause Alzheimer's. So far, I have found "better the devil you know..." and "robbing peter to pay paul." Neither quite get this right. Thank you

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The idiom out of the frying pan into the fire may suggest what you are referring to:

  • Fig. said when you move from a bad or difficult situation to one that is worse.(Typically: get ~; go ~; jump ~.)

Source: www.dictionary.cambridge.org

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Immoral hazard :)

But seriously, "no good deed goes unpunished" sort of works for your example, though not well for the question itself.

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Remingd me of the title of Edward Tanner's book: Why things bite back. Technology and the revenge of unintended consequences"

"Be careful what you wish for" is another one I hear frequently.

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