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Reflections on Informed Consent

John Romano, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1974;30(1):129-135. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1974.01760070105017.
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A current trend in clinical psychiatric research is that of high-risk approach. The ethical problems involved in studies of children at risk for schizophrenia and their parents are principally those of the informed consent and of privacy and confidentiality.

Attention is drawn to the historical evolution of systematic approaches to ethical aspects of experimentation with human subjects and the change in guide rules from the traditional informal ethical principles of medical practice, developed over centuries, toward a civilly enforced body of legal and administrative regulations which will control research projects and the use of humans in human experimentation.

Those responsible for the establishment of systematic courses in ethics should make sure that they are fully informed about the complex decision-making of the clinician in his care of the patient and in his pursuit of new knowledge in human investigation.

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