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Consenting to consent

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Both ethicists and lawyers accept that a provider – be it a researcher or a clinician – should provide sufficient information for a reasonable person to make an informed decision about whether they wish to go ahead with the proposed intervention or treatment.[1] They are bound to do so both because they have an ethical responsibility to preserve the individual’s autonomous decision making, and, in many countries, because the law obliges them to. In this month’s of the JME, three articles tackle ethical issues relating to consent in different contexts. Overarching these analyses is the pragmatic question of whether the process of taking consent in itself might alter the outcomes, and whether, in doing so, it can undermine the initial therapeutic or research goal – so creating another ethical question of what to prioritise.



ethics- medical, ethics- research

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Journal of Medical Ethics

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Wellcome Trust (208213/Z/17/Z)
This project was funded by the Wellcome Trust grant number 208213/Z/17/Z.  ZF is based in The Healthcare Improvement Studies Institute (THIS Institute), University of Cambridge. THIS Institute is supported by the Health Foundation, an independent charity committed to bringing about better health and healthcare for people in the UK.