Legal advice: Can a student interview a patient for a study without gaining consent?
A mentor is concerned that a student’s plans to interview patients for a research study without their consent is unethical. Consent must be given prior to any patient interaction, and patient safety must always be the priority, says legal expert Marc Cornock
Any interaction with a patient requires the patient’s consent. Where the patient cannot give consent, it must be sought from their appointed representative. If neither of these is possible, the interaction must be in the patient’s best interests.
The student may be under the misapprehension that as he will only be using information from patients who are allocated to him, he does not need additional consent. But this is not the case, as it is unethical to request consent for one purpose – providing care and treatment...
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