Informed Consent Essay: Ethical Principles of Gaining Informed Consent

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Informed Consent Essay: Ethical principles of gaining informed consent

“Respect for human beings involves giving due scope to peoples capacity to make their own decisions. In the research context, this normally requires that participation be the result of a choice made by the participants” (NHMR, 2007, p.3). Freegard 2012 (p.60), states that “respecting the rights of others,” includes a responsibility for Health professionals “to let others know about their rights” and that this forms the basis of an informed consent.

Discuss the values and principles of ethical conduct in relation to gaining an informed consent from potential research participants in relation to your project.

In your discussion

• Briefly highlight the
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Insofar as informed consent has been expounded, two main principles of bioethics have emerged as paramount; autonomy and non-maleficence. Although seemingly clear, the boundary of both respecting a person’s autonomy and doing no harm becomes blurred when the patients have disabilities that remove their ability to reason and justify soundly (e.g. total brain injuries or severe stroke patients). Although the participants in the proposed study will be fully-abled as per the exclusion criteria, understanding why cognitively impaired participants cannot give ‘informed’ consent further elaborates on higher-order-thinking required in the informed consent process. Without such a process, patients whom elect to become participants may not understand that this research is a separate entity to their regular treatment regime, and essentially will have become coerced into consenting due to a lack of clarification (Kerridge, Lowe, & Stewart, 2009; Rigg, 2012a; Rigg, 2012b).

Usually health care practice is guided by codes from the profession’s governing board (such as the Australian Physiotherapy Association), in order to respect patient rights. However, research ethics are different in construct compared with general health care practitioner ethics, as the primary
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