To Be or Not to Be – A Research Subject

In Thomasine Kushner (ed.), Surviving Health Care: A Manual for Patients and Their Families. Cambridge University Press. pp. 146-162 (2010)
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Most people do not know there are different kinds of medical studies; some are conducted on people who already have a disease or medical condition, and others are performed on healthy volunteers who want to help science find answers. No matter what sort of research you are invited to participate in, or whether you are a patient when you are asked, it’s entirely up to you whether or not to do it. This decision is important and may have many implications for your health and well-being, as well as those of other patients now and in the future. Making a good decision – the right one for you – requires you to become educated about topics you may not have thought about before, some of which may be quite complicated. This chapter explains the key issues to help you make a good decision.

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Peter H. Schwartz
Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis


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