By Tom L. Beauchamp Pages: 1-2
The article in this issue of AJOB titled “Reframing Consent for Clinical Research: A Function-Based Approach” is a fresh and engaging way of thinking about how to handle several conceptual and moral problems about consent in clinical research. At times the authors seem entirely concerned with problems of informedconsent, while at other times they are concerned with other forms of consent. As they note, they use the term “consent” in an unusually broad sense “from simply informing an individual that an activity involves research to providing a brief description of [a] study … to obtaining in-depth written consent.” My comments here will be confined more narrowly to what they say about informed consent. I will not consider other forms of consent (such as assent, implicit consent, presumed consent, and the like), and I will not consider single elements of informed consent such as disclosure and authorization.
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