Importance of the Consent Principle in Ethical Research

Subject: Sciences
Pages: 1
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Study level: Master

The fourth principle of the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights is consent, which refers to the pre-emptive acceptance of the human subject to participate in an ethical study. It is established to protect the decision of the human subjects during any research. Ethical research involves active interaction with the participants and, thus, there is a need to have their agreement to take part in the study (Ballantyne & Schaefer, 2018).

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If a study is conducted without the informed affirmation from the sample of the population, it is considered forceful and, therefore, unethical. Research that is dishonest is deemed to be illegal and harmful to the human participants because it violates their rights (Zhao et al., 2018). As such, it is important to allow subjects to participate in a study willingly.

To ensure that consent is protected for human subjects, the researcher must provide full and adequate information about the purpose of the study to the participants. The information that must be given should include aspects such as risks and the benefits of the study. In addition, the researcher must ensure that before the subject participates in the study, they understand the process that will be used in it (Wendler, 2018).

The surveyor also has to give the partaker enough time to consider the available options in order to make an appropriate decision before participating in the study (Zhao et al., 2018). Informed consent must then be documented and signed by the subject to indicate their acceptance to participate in the research. The surveyor has the responsibility of protecting the subject by maintaining their confidentiality and privacy.


Ballantyne, A., & Schaefer, G. O. (2018). Consent and the ethical duty to participate in health data research. Journal of Medical Ethics, 44(6), 392−396. Web.

Wendler, D. (2018). Innovative approaches to informed consent for randomized clinical trials: Identifying the ethical challenges. Clinical Trials, 15(1), 17−20. Web.

Zhao, H., Zhang, J., Yang, F., & Tan, L. (2018). Improve the ethical review of clinical trials on traditional medicine: A cross-sectional study of clinical trial registration, ethical review, and informed consent in clinical trials of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Medicine, 97(47), 156−160. Web.

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