Human Research Protection Program

What is Informed Consent?

Carol takes Joe on a tour of the research lab. He then reads the consent form that lists the researcher's expectations of Joe and all that Joe should expect from the researcher. Joe asks four important questions. What is the procedure for participation? How often will his blood be tested and what is it tested for? How will he collect his feces? Will his confidentiality be protected? Joe asks for clarification over points that he does not understand and after he is satisfied with the answers from the research assistant, he signs the form.

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TOP 10 Questions to ask yourself and others during the process of initial informed consent.

  1. Is this consent form written in plain language and do I understand it?
  2. Am I comfortable about participating in this study after reading the consent form? If not, what do I need to know in order to be comfortable enough to agree to participate?
  3. What are the specific procedures to be used in this study? What if your equipment doesn't work as anticipated?
  4. What are the benefits to me of participating in this study?
  5. What are the risks to me of participating in this study?
  6. Will I be compensated for participating in this study? If so, when will I receive the compensation?
  7. What happens to personal data obtained about me in the study - who sees it?
  8. How do I end my participation in this study if I change my mind?
  9. How do I contact you?
  10. And finally, ask yourself, "Now that I know more about this study, am I still interested?

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