, Volume 35, Issue 10, pp 1655-1658
Date: 07 Jul 2009

The ‘Consent to Research’ paradigm in critical care: challenges and potential solutions

This is an excerpt from the content

Clinical research in the intensive care unit (ICU) poses unique challenges. Investigators must operationalize protocols under emergency conditions, recruit patients within narrow time windows, study illnesses with high morbidity and mortality, and obtain consent for enrolment of critically ill patients who, by virtue of their illness, usually lack autonomous decision-making capacity. Difficulties in obtaining informed consent may reduce opportunities for critically ill patients to participate in research, prolong study implementation, limit the generalizability of study results, and delay identification of potentially effective, ineffective, and harmful interventions.

The requirement for informed consent to participate in research arises from the ethical principle of autonomy. Respect of this principle requires that individuals understand the study and provide consent to receive a research intervention and for use of their personal health information [1]. However, critically ill patient ...