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Consent is not always essential, say Dutch experts

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.310.6991.1355a (Published 27 May 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:1355

Medical experiments on patients who are unable to give consent, such as children and people with learning disabilities, are acceptable under strict conditions, according to a Dutch expert advisory committee. Such research, which may include the early stages of testing of medical products or using the patient in a control group, is seen as essential for the development of care for patients with conditions such as Alzheimer's disease and Down's syndromes.

Even though research may not directly benefit the individual patient, it is seen as indispensable to reduce the hazards for …

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