Key Information in the New Common Rule: Can It Save Research Consent?

Key Information in the New Common Rule: Can It Save Research Consent?
Research Article 
Nancy M. P. King
The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 12 July 2019 
Informed consent in clinical research is widely regarded as broken, but essential nonetheless. The most recent attempt to reform it comes as part of the first revisions to the Common Rule since it became truly “common” in 1991. This change, the addition of a “key information” requirement for most consent forms, is intended to support and promote a reasoned decision-making process by potential subjects. The key information requirement is both promising and problematic. It is promising because it encourages clarity and honesty about research participation, creativity in information disclosure, and mutual learning through the investigator-subject relationship. It is problematic because those goals — which have remained aspirational since the beginning — may be difficult to achieve in what has become an excessively compliance-oriented regulatory regime.

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