Protecting human participants in research is extremely important, and part of that process is informed consent. Informed consent is an ongoing communication process between research participants and the investigator to ensure participants' comfort. Informed consent allows potential research participants to volunteer their participation freely, without threat or undue coaching. The potential participant is also provided with information an individual would want to know before participating, so an educated decision can be made whether or not to participate. Generally, the purpose of informed consent is to protect each participant's welfare, ensure the participants are voluntary and informed, and promote positive feelings before and after completing a study.

This entry begins with a brief history and then describes the necessary components of informed consent and some additional considerations. ...

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