Rescuing Informed Consent: How the new “Key Information” and “Reasonable Person” Provisions in the Revised U.S. Common Rule open the door to long Overdue Informed Consent Disclosure Improvements and why we need to walk Through that door

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

There is substantial published evidence showing that countless people enroll each year in ethically deficient clinical trials. Many of the trials are problematic because the quality of the science used to justify their launch may not be sufficiently vetted while many other trials may lack requisite social value. This poses the question: why do people volunteer for them? The answer resides in large part in the fact that informed consent practices have historically masked, rather than disclosed, the information that would alert research candidates to the ethically problematic nature of the trials. The “reasonable person” and “key information” provisions in the revised US Common Rule create the opportunity to correct this historical shortcoming. Two sources are employed to shed light on what the “key information” is that should be disclosed to a “reasonable person”: the original disclosure aims of the Nuremberg Code, as well as an extensive body of meta-research evidence. Those sources jointly support a range of new disclosures in the informed consent process that would unmask the heretofore undisclosed information. The resulting proposed new disclosures pertain to the overall success prospects of clinical trials, the quality of the prior research that both forms the basis of clinical trials and informs assessment of their risks and benefits, the potential social value of clinical trials, and the commercial purposes of clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalScience and Engineering Ethics
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • Informed consent
  • Key information
  • Nuremberg code
  • Preclinical research
  • Reasonable person standard
  • Research ethics
  • Risk–benefit assessment
  • Social value of research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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