The fair transaction model of informed consent: An alternative to autonomous authorization

Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 21 (3):201-218 (2011)


Prevailing ethical thinking about informed consent to clinical research is characterized by theoretical confidence and practical disquiet. On the one hand, bioethicists are confident that informed consent is a fundamental norm. And, for the most part, they are confident that what makes consent to research valid is that it constitutes an autonomous authorization by the research participant. On the other hand, bioethicists are uneasy about the quality of consent in practice. One major source of this disquiet is substantial evidence of the “therapeutic misconception”—the tendency of patient-subjects in clinical trials to confuse participating in research with receiving personalized medical care. This ..

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