Education before Participation: What is informed consent?

Informed consent is the process of learning the key facts about a clinical trial before deciding whether or not to participate. It is also a continuing process throughout the study to provide information for participants. To help someone decide whether or not to participate, the doctors and nurses involved in the trial explain the details of the study. If the participant's native language is not English, translation assistance can be provided. Then the research team provides an informed consent document that includes details about the study, such as its purpose, duration, required procedures, and key contacts. Risks and potential benefits are explained in the informed consent document. The participant then decides whether or not to sign the document. Informed consent is not a contract, and the participant may withdraw from the trial at any time.

What has your experience been like regarding giving your consent to participate in a clinical trial?

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  • "Informed Consent . . . is not a contract . . . " Do Clinical Trial participants SIGN anything as part of this "education?" Are they educated as far as follow-on treatment after the trial is completed, and as to what the responsibilities are of those conducting the trial ?

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