Article

Surrogate consent for dementia research A national survey of older Americans

Bioethics Program, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.
Neurology (Impact Factor: 8.3). 02/2009; 72(2):149-55. DOI: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000339039.18931.a2
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Research in novel therapies for Alzheimer disease (AD) relies on persons with AD as research subjects. Because AD impairs decisional capacity, informed consent often must come from surrogates, usually close family members. But policies for surrogate consent for research remain unsettled after decades of debate.
We designed a survey module for a random subsample (n = 1,515) of the 2006 wave of the Health and Retirement Study, a biennial survey of a nationally representative sample of Americans aged 51 and older. The participants answered questions regarding one of four randomly assigned surrogate-based research (SBR) scenarios: lumbar puncture study, drug randomized control study, vaccine study, and gene transfer study. Each participant answered three questions: whether our society should allow family surrogate consent, whether one would want to participate in the research, and whether one would allow one's surrogate some or complete leeway to override stated personal preferences.
Most respondents stated that our society should allow family surrogate consent for SBR (67.5% to 82.5%, depending on the scenario) and would themselves want to participate in SBR (57.4% to 79.7%). Most would also grant some or complete leeway to their surrogates (54.8% to 66.8%), but this was true mainly of those willing to participate. There was a trend toward lower willingness to participate in SBR among those from ethnic or racial minority groups.
Family surrogate consent-based dementia research is broadly supported by older Americans. Willingness to allow leeway to future surrogates needs to be studied further for its ethical significance for surrogate-based research policy.

Full-text

Available from: Kenneth Langa, May 03, 2015
0 Followers
 · 
102 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: There are important benefits to including adults with intellectual disabilities in research. Calls for their increased participation in research co‐occur with notable discussion about how to conduct ethically strong research with adults with intellectual disabilities, a population widely considered vulnerable in the context of research. The authors systematically researched the peer‐reviewed literature on ethical practices in research with adults with intellectual disabilities to identify and analyze conceptually and empirically supported ethical approaches to research in the area of research with adults with intellectual disabilities. They conducted a thematic analysis of the 37 articles that met inclusion criteria. They identified three overarching themes: (1) guiding frameworks and approaches; (2) strategies to promote accountability to ethics; and (3) making decisions about participation, including considerations for coercion, capacity to consent, surrogate decision‐making, and promoting understanding. From the review, they noted diverse recommendations for ethical research practices, characterized by a lack of consensus, entrenched tensions in value orientations, and gaps in knowledge and practice. Attention to promising strands of scholarship that emphasize attention to strengths, autonomy, dignity of risk, and a contextually based framing of consent capacity may be particularly fruitful. Similarly, bringing to the forefront the role of accommodations in promoting participation, systematically studying diverse ethical aspects of research, and identifying and considering the perspectives of persons with intellectual disabilities may represent critical next steps. They suggest that research collaborations between academics and persons with intellectual disabilities present opportunities to further strengthen the ethical integrity of research in the field.A video abstract of this article can be viewed at .
    Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities 03/2012; 9(1). DOI:10.1111/j.1741-1130.2011.00319.x · 0.97 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The ethical problem of the need to conduct research on the very conditions that impair the ability to consent to such research is widely acknowledged. People with cognitive impairment and mental illness have an equitable right to research being conducted in areas relevant to their treatment and care, and should be given an equitable opportunity to participate in such research, even if they lack capacity. They also have a right to adequate safeguards to protect their interests and respect their wishes in regards to research participation. Provisions for involvement in research of those who are unable to give consent have only developed over the last 50 years. Over this period we have witnessed a proliferation of policies, regulations and laws that govern research involving subjects unable to give consent. There has been a parallel increase in our understanding of the concepts of consent and capacity, specifically as it relates to the research context, with development of standards for research consent and instruments to guide capacity evaluation. We review the evolution of research governance and the underlying ethical principles that underpin such regulations, approaches to capacity evaluation and the use of proxies and advance research directives to facilitate research participation in adults who lack capacity.
    Asia-Pacific Psychiatry 12/2012; 4(4). DOI:10.1111/j.1758-5872.2012.00210.x · 0.42 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background Alzheimer’s disease is a very common, progressive and still incurable disease. Future possibilities for its cure lie in the promotion of research that will increase our knowledge of the disorder’s causes and lead to the discovery of effective remedies. Such research will necessarily involve individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. This raises the controversial issue of whether patients with Alzheimer’s disease are competent to give their consent for research participation. Discussion We discuss the case of subjects with Alzheimer’s disease who may have impaired decision-making capacity and who could be involved in research protocols, taking into consideration aspects of the Italian normative framework, which requires a court-appointed legal representative for patients who are not able to give consent and does not recognise the legal value of advance directives. We show that this normative framework risks preventing individuals with Alzheimer’s disease from taking part in research and that a new policy that favours research while promoting respect for patients’ well-being and rights needs to be implemented. Summary We believe that concerns about the difficulty of obtaining fully valid consent of patients with Alzheimer’s disease should not prevent them from participating in clinical trials and benefiting from scientific progress. Therefore, we argue that the requirement for patients to have a legal representative may not be the best solution in all countries and clinical situations, and suggest promoting the role of patients’ family members in the decision-making process. In addition, we outline the possible role of advance directives and ethics committees.
    BMC Medical Ethics 03/2015; 16. DOI:10.1186/s12910-015-0009-9 · 1.60 Impact Factor