Towards a Design Toolkit of Informed Consent Models Across Fields: A Systematic Review

Towards a Design Toolkit of Informed Consent Models Across Fields: A Systematic Review
Original Research/Scholarship
Iris Loosman, Philip J. Nickel
Science and Engineering Ethics, 30 August 2022; 28(42)
Open Access
In the 60+ years that the modern concept of informed consent has been around, researchers in various fields of practice, especially medical ethics, have developed new models to overcome theoretical and practical problems. While (systematic) literature reviews of such models exist within given fields (e.g., genetic screening), this article breaks ground by analyzing academic literature on consent models across fields. Three electronic research databases (Scopus, Google Scholar, and Web of Science) were searched for publications mentioning informed consent models. The titles, abstracts, and if applicable, full publications were screened and coded. The resulting data on fields, models, and themes were then analyzed. We scanned 300 sources from three databases to find 207 uniquely named consent models, and created a network visualization displaying which models occur primarily in one field, and which models overlap between fields. This analysis identifies trends in the consent debate in different fields, as well as common goals of consent models. The most frequently occurring consent models are identified and defined. The analysis contributes toward a cross-disciplinary “consent design toolkit” and highlights that there are more interrelationships between models and fields than are acknowledged in the literature. Where some models are designed to solve distinctively field-specific issues and are specific to biomedical ethics, some may be adaptable and applicable for other fields including engineering and design.

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