Is consent for research genuinely informed? Using decision aid tools to obtain informed consent in the global south
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Global Ethics 7 (3):349-359 (2011)
Gaining informed consent among marginalized groups that include decisionally incapacitated individuals and those outside of the researcher's own geo-social and ethnic background still challenges many researchers. We suggest that there is a need for consideration of a different approach to research ethics in international settings. Based on extensive field work in West Africa on medical knowledge transfers and patient?healer relationships, this paper will discuss the challenges posed in obtaining informed individual consent in international settings. It is argued that while being on the whole convincing, the top-down approach of the proposed solutions, which clearly dominates the participative approach, fails in building sustainable capacity, decision-making competency, and empowerment in the communities in which the research is conducted. Using appropriate decision aids can help resolve these issues.
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