The research informed consent document is a legal document that helps researchers disseminate information about the study to individuals that will participate in it. It also frees themselves, other faculty, the research institution, etc. from any liability associated with researching human subjects.
One of the most important aspects of the research or study informed consent form is the fact that goes into explicit detail about:
Who is performing the study
What the purpose of the study is
The procedures involved
Risks associated with participating in the study
The benefits of the study
Compensation (if applicable)
Without this detailed information, the study loses a lot of the protection it grants to researchers and their associates. Because of this, it’s important to fill out this document thoroughly. If there’s potential to sustain an injury, die, or have long-lasting side effects then it should be clearly stated in the document.
If these issues are, in any way, glossed over and they happen to occur then the participant or their family, or any other interested party can hold the researcher and the organization the researcher works with liable.
Of course, the entire point of informed consent is to avoid that so be sure to add the necessary details. In some cases, add more details even if you don’t think it’s strictly necessary. It can be helpful in the end.
With that being said, if the research is potentially dangerous to the participants, you may have to settle for fewer volunteers or need to increase the compensation given to each person that comes forward to work with you.
There’s another section that details and emphasizes that all participation in the study is voluntary and that participation can be withdrawn at any time.
When using the research consent form. The key to protecting all parties involved is to be clear when describing what’s expected. You can find more detailed instructions for filling out the document here.
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