Waiver of individual patient consent in research: when do potential benefits to the community outweigh private rights?

N. Zeps, Barry Iacopetta, L. Schofield, J.M. George, Jack Goldblatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Health services research is important to ensure continued best quality of care, but often uses data obtained without explicit consent for this purpose.Obtaining consent may be difficult for many reasons, but excluding individuals may introduce biases that alter the significance of studies.Approval by ethics committees of a waiver of the need for consent allowed our study to proceed and provide evidence that has led to the implementation of a population-based screening policy for the prospective detection of hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer.This screening policy has resulted in more cases being detected routinely with better management for affected patients and their at-risk families.A need for consent would have prohibited this study, and the development of a more efficient screening policy could have been delayed for several more years.Ethics committees can effectively manage the need to uphold basic ethical principles without unnecessarily impeding socially useful research. Committees need to be familiar with the guidelines approved under sections 95 and 95A of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cwlth) in addition to the National Health and Medical Research Council National statement on ethical conduct in research involving humans.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-90
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
Volume186
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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Cite this

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Waiver of individual patient consent in research: when do potential benefits to the community outweigh private rights? / Zeps, N.; Iacopetta, Barry; Schofield, L.; George, J.M.; Goldblatt, Jack.

In: Medical Journal of Australia, Vol. 186, No. 2, 2007, p. 88-90.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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