Informed Consent Issues in Family Health Research

Innovations and interventions designed to improve health of individuals and families are becoming increasingly prevalent. Many people will be offered the opportunity to be involved in a health-related research study. In this essay, the topic of informed consent for research is discussed, and issues that should be considered when obtaining informed consent are presented.

The requirement that human participants in research need to be informed about and provide their consent to participate in a research study has been an accepted standard for over 45 years. The abuse of human subjects in research conducted by the Nazis during World War II was uncovered during the Nuremberg Trials and documented extensively. This led to the development of regulations and guidelines that govern all research with humans in 1979. ...

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