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HHS HealthBeat (September 21, 2012)

Learning about the study

A medical research team discusses findings.
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Understand Clinical Trials

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

People who volunteer to take part in clinical trials give invaluable help to medical research. Naturally, though, people want to know what they’re getting into. That’s the reason for informed consent. The researchers explain what the study is about, what the participant will do, and any risks or benefits.

At the National Institutes of Health’s Clinical Center – the NIH’s research hospital – Dr. Christine Grady is chief of bioethics:

“It should be their choice, based on their understanding of what the study is about, and what the risks and benefits of the study are, and how it fits with their own interests.”

Grady notes that proposals for studies have to go through several reviews by ethics officials before they can qualify to invite participants.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: September 21, 2012