The Patient Protections in Clinical Trials

This is the sixth blog in a series on clinical trials.  To read the other blogs in the series, visit: http://triagecancer.org/blog/category/clinical-trials/.

For more information about clinical trials, visit: http://triagecancer.org/clinical-trials.

If you are eligible and decide to join a clinical trial, you will be required to review and sign informed-consentthe informed consent forms. This can be an overwhelming process, but it is how you will learn all the details of the trial, including the potential benefits and the possible risks, and give your permission to be treated.

Who Does It Protect?

Informed consent provides patient protection as much as does for health care providers. Included with informed consent comes your right to privacy, as well as your right to a full and complete understanding of the trial.

Am I Signing Away My Rights?

Signing your informed consent papers forfeits none of the rights you might expect.  For instance, you do not forfeit your right to protections if your health care provider acts in a negligent manner.  You also do not forfeit your right to leave the trial at any point, with no penalty.

Will I Have Time to Consider This?

Informed consent is many pages of detailed information.  You will be given time to take that document home to review with our loved ones.  You will also have time to ask for clarification if you do not understand something you read.  Treatment cannot begin without your informed consent and a complete understanding of the details, benefits, and risks of participating in a trial.

By participating in a clinical trial, you are helping to advance medical science.  It is no small gift that you are giving and your rights are going to be protected.  Read your informed consent closely, talk with your health care team, and make sure that you fully understand the study before you sign it.

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