How to make consent more ethical in clinical trials

How to make consent more ethical in clinical trials

An essential part of medical trials is the consent of the volunteer involved, and with this, their acceptance and understanding of the procedures they will undergo during the trial. Central to any medical trial is providing the volunteer with information about any potential risks associated with taking medication under trial and any side effects they may encounter as a result of taking it.

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The nocebo effect

Recently, an article in the BMJ highlighted the issue of the so called nocebo effect during paid clinical trials. According to the journal, the nocebo effect happens when a patient assumes a side effect is likely to happen to them after taking a drug. In other words, if complete information about every side effect of paid clinical trials is given before the trial begins, some patients may go on to believe they are experiencing the effect, even if their symptom is unrelated.

What can be done to avoid the nocebo effect?

There are a number of possibilities. It may be a good idea to ask volunteers how much information they would like to know and what they would rather be left out, such as extremely rare side effects. It may also be useful to choose language carefully when it comes to potential side effects, so that so-called uncommon effects are not unduly feared.

One of the most important parts of clinical trials is the consent given by the volunteers taking part. This includes arming them with enough information about the drug they will be trialling, without causing them unnecessary fear or harm. Consent is a very important part of medical trials and should be fully addressed, especially when people ask the question what are paid medical trials?

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Taking part in a medical trial

Clinical trials are a crucial part of testing new medication. Rigorous human testing must take place before new drugs can be released into general circulation and used in the fight against potentially dangerous conditions. All clinical trials must be carefully managed, with complete information provided to volunteers about what they might experience during the trial and how the drug might affect them. For clinical trials to be successful, volunteers must feel safe and informed at all times, and medical staff must feel they are free to provide as much information as necessary to the volunteer.

Clare Louise

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