Participating in Clinical Trials

Frequently Asked Questions

26. What is informed consent?

Informed consent is an ongoing process that helps you decide whether to enroll in a trial after you have been told all about the study. The informed consent document is an agreement to take part in a trial.

During the first meeting, and in follow-up meetings, the research team will tell you about

  • tests or treatments that you may get if you are assigned to the experimental group
  • possible risks and benefits of these tests or treatments
  • standard tests and treatments available now
  • what you need to do, such as take medications at a certain time.

Once you agree to participate in the trial, you must sign the informed consent document. However, it is not a contract. You can leave the trial at any time for any reason.