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Limning the Semantic Frontier of Informed Consent

Washington, Harriet A.

It is the researcher’s responsibility to provide accurate, complete, and unbiased verbal and written information yet, as this essay discusses, challenges to meaningful research consent abound in the communication between researcher and subject. This discussion of these challenges is far from exhaustive, but it will flag some of the potholes that researchers must anticipate on the sometimes rocky road to eliciting meaningful consent. These hazards include unfamiliar scientific terms and connotations, divergent conceptions of medical history and science, the conscious and unconscious deploying of rosy adjectives with which scientists sometimes “sell” a study in lieu of describing it, semiotics that magnify the therapeutic illusion, and legal maneuvers that bypass consent altogether.

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Also Published In

Title
The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1177/1073110516667936

More About This Work

Academic Units
Journalism
Published Here
November 10, 2016
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