The Patients Have a Story to Tell: Informed Consent for People who use Illicit Opiates in a Qualitative Research Project

The Patients Have a Story to Tell: Informed Consent for People who use Illicit Opiates in a Qualitative Research Project
Jane McCall, J. Craig Phillips, Andrew Estefan
Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine, November 2018
Open Access
Abstract
This paper discusses the ethical issues that arise when seeking informed consent from people who use illicit opiates. There is a significant discourse in the literature that opines that people who use illicit opiates are unable to provide informed consent due to withdrawal symptoms and cognitive impairment as a result of opioid use. This paper outlines the ethical issues that have been discussed in relation to this issue, reviews the findings of a study in which staff were asked their opinions about their patients’ ability to provide informed consent and discusses the issues that arise when patients are not allowed to consent to research.

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