Intended for healthcare professionals


Patients do not read consent forms

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 07 December 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:1421

Doctors have an enormous influence over whether a patient consents to take part in a clinical research trial, according to a study of patients' attitudes to research.

Patients tend to assume that any research that they enter into is safe. They often do not read consent forms carefully because they assume that someone else has scrutinised the risks and benefits on their behalf.

Interviews with 103 patients …

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