Informed Consent for Clinical Trials

VIDEO | 10:00

Memorial Sloan Kettering experts describe the process of how patients receive information about a clinical trial before deciding whether they want to join. (This process is known as informed consent.)

Clinical nurse specialist Amy Copeland talks about how she explains things to patients to help make them as informed as possible before giving consent to participate in a clinical trial. Sometimes, she says, patients can be overwhelmed by the amount of they need to review in order to join a clinical trial. That’s why she takes as much time as needed to speak with patients about the nature of the trial, why it could be beneficial, which medications are involved, and the frequency and duration of the trial. Her goal is to decrease patient anxiety and make sure there are no surprises.

Medical oncologist David Hyman adds that patient content is important in helping to empower patients to make decisions about their healthcare.

Paul Sabbatini, Deputy Physician-in-Chief for Clinical Research, stresses that patients should never feel pressured to join a clinical trial. The patient always has the option to withdraw.