Informed Consent in Vulnerable or Underage Populations

Subject: Health Care
Type: Exploratory Essay
Pages: 2
Word count: 335
Topics: Medical Ethics, Community, Health, Medicine, Public Health

Informed consent is the process of getting permission before conducting a medical research. It is not a mere for signing but involves the subject understanding the research, its implications, the rationale and the risks involved (Kolmes, 2015). Informed consent in vulnerable or underage populations is, therefore, getting the authorized permission of children or persons incapable of making the decision to participate in a research. Children, prisoners and mentally impaired persons have no autonomy to give an informed consent. Students, patients, pregnant mothers, and subordinates may not give an independent consent due to influence.

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Informed consent in students and subordinates may be difficult to obtain as a result of undue influence. In Columbia, employees and students responsible for a study may not participate as subjects unless if they are responding to a general advertisement.  For children under the age of 18 years, and other individuals who cannot give an informed consent a family guardian or a legal representative appointed by a court of law is approved to give consent on their behalf (Graboyes, 2015).  As study investigator, I would provide all the necessary information about the disease to the patients as well as the main reasons for conducting the research. I would inform them about the risks and benefits involved so as to ensure that they decide voluntarily to participative or not.

In this study, some elements are essential in getting an informed consent. The subject must have the capacity to make that decision. There must e full disclosure by the health personnel of the information on treatment, test, and risks involved (Lomelino, 2015). The subject must comprehend the information and the consent must be given voluntarily.

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  1. Graboyes, M. (2015). The experiment must continue: Medical research and ethics in East Africa, 1940-2014.
  2. Kolmes, K. (2015). Informed consent. London, United Kingdom: SAGE Publications Ltd.
  3. Lomelino, P. J. (2015). Community, autonomy, and informed consent: Revisiting the philosophical foundation for informed consent in international research. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
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