Skip to main content


Medical ethics in informed consent

Edited by: Prof James Giordano and Dr Fernando Marques

Informed consent is a complex ethical concept that plays a fundamental role in medical research and practice, and which gives rise to host of current questions, issues and controversies. For example:

  • The increasing globalization of medicine adds new dimensions to informed consent procedures, as cultural and regional differences.
  • Implementation of new techniques and technologies that require careful ethical deliberation when informing patients, gaining their consent and obtaining clinical equipoise.
  • Similarly, treating patients who lack cognitive capacity to make fully informed decisions, and other conditions of marginalization and vulnerability necessitate a deeper and richer address, meaning and value of informed consent for patients, clinicians and society.

The Editors declare that they have no competing interests.

Collection published: 7 January 2014
Last updated: 18 November 2014

  1. Research

    Reassessing the approach to informed consent: the case of unrelated hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in adult thalassemia patients

    The informed consent process is the legal embodiment of the fundamental right of the individual to make decisions affecting his or her health., and the patient’s permission is a crucial form of respect of free...

    Salvatore Pisu, Giovanni Caocci, Ernesto d’Aloja, Fabio Efficace, Adriana Vacca, Eugenia Piras, Maria Grazia Orofino, Carmen Addari, Michela Pintor, Roberto Demontis, Federica Demuru, Maria Rita Pittau, Gary S Collins and Giorgio La Nasa

    Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine 2014 9:13

    Published on: 12 August 2014

  2. Research article

    Informed consent practices for surgical care at university teaching hospitals: a case in a low resource setting

    Informed consent in medical practice is essential and a global standard that should be sought at all the times doctors interact with patients. Its intensity would vary depending on the invasiveness and risks a...

    Joseph Ochieng, Charles Ibingira, William Buwembo, Ian Munabi, Haruna Kiryowa, David Kitara, Paul Bukuluki, Gabriel Nzarubara and Erisa Mwaka

    BMC Medical Ethics 2014 15:40

    Published on: 19 May 2014

  3. Research article

    Voluntary participation and comprehension of informed consent in a genetic epidemiological study of breast cancer in Nigeria

    Studies on informed consent to medical research conducted in low or middle-income settings have increased, including empirical investigations of consent to genetic research. We investigated voluntary participa...

    Patricia A Marshall, Clement A Adebamowo, Adebowale A Adeyemo, Temidayo O Ogundiran, Teri Strenski, Jie Zhou and Charles N Rotimi

    BMC Medical Ethics 2014 15:38

    Published on: 13 May 2014

  4. Research article

    Procedures of recruiting, obtaining informed consent, and compensating research participants in Qatar: findings from a qualitative investigation

    Very few researchers have reported on procedures of recruiting, obtaining informed consent, and compensating participants in health research in the Arabian Gulf Region. Empirical research can inform the debate...

    Amal Killawi, Amal Khidir, Maha Elnashar, Huda Abdelrahim, Maya Hammoud, Heather Elliott, Michelle Thurston, Humna Asad, Abdul Latif Al-Khal and Michael D Fetters

    BMC Medical Ethics 2014 15:9

    Published on: 4 February 2014

  5. Research article

    Patients’ perceived purpose of clinical informed consent: Mill’s individual autonomy model is preferred

    Although informed consent is an integral part of clinical practice, its current doctrine remains mostly a matter of law and mainstream ethics rather than empirical research. There are scarce empirical data on ...

    Muhammad M Hammami, Eman A Al-Gaai, Yussuf Al-Jawarneh, Hala Amer, Muhammad B Hammami, Abdullah Eissa and Mohammad Al Qadire

    BMC Medical Ethics 2014 15:2

    Published on: 10 January 2014

  6. Research article

    Information disclosure in clinical informed consent: “reasonable” patient’s perception of norm in high-context communication culture

    The current doctrine of informed consent for clinical care has been developed in cultures characterized by low-context communication and monitoring-style coping. There are scarce empirical data on patients’ no...

    Muhammad M Hammami, Yussuf Al-Jawarneh, Muhammad B Hammami and Mohammad Al Qadire

    BMC Medical Ethics 2014 15:3

    Published on: 10 January 2014

  7. Research article

    An effective multisource informed consent procedure for research and clinical practice: an observational study of patient understanding and awareness of their roles as research stakeholders in a cancer biobank

    Efforts to improve patients’ understanding of their own medical treatments or research in which they are involved are progressing, especially with regard to informed consent procedures. We aimed to design a mu...

    Silvia Cervo, Jane Rovina, Renato Talamini, Tiziana Perin, Vincenzo Canzonieri, Paolo De Paoli and Agostino Steffan

    BMC Medical Ethics 2013 14:30

    Published on: 30 July 2013

  8. Research article

    Improving understanding in the research informed consent process: a systematic review of 54 interventions tested in randomized control trials

    Obtaining informed consent is a cornerstone of biomedical research, yet participants comprehension of presented information is often low. The most effective interventions to improve understanding rates have no...

    Adam Nishimura, Jantey Carey, Patricia J Erwin, Jon C Tilburt, M Hassan Murad and Jennifer B McCormick

    BMC Medical Ethics 2013 14:28

    Published on: 23 July 2013