The world of medicine has evolved from primative practices to the technologically advanced techniques that are used today. This is, in part, due to clinical trials and the people who participate in them.
Clinical research is incredibly important to the advancement of both mental and physical medicine. Without it, we would have no way of knowing the effects of certains drugs, techniques, and practices before releasing them for general use. However, many people are hesitant to participate in trials because their unknown nature.
There are many myths and misconceptions about clinical trials that hold people back from participation. At Lehigh Center for Clinical Research, we are here to ease your mind by debunking 3 HUGE myths about clinical trials.
Myth #1: Clinical trials treat their participants like lab rats
Many people fear that researchers conducting clinical trials ignore basic human decency in the name of science. The truth is that the core of clinical research are humans. This means that the respect that researchers have for their participants must be maintained throughout the process. To have a successful trial, participants must be cooperative. This would be almost impossible if those conducting the research treated participants poorly.
In addition, participants of clinical research studies get the chance to learn more about their conditions and work closely with professionals who are specifically knowledgeable about their fields. Many participants feel like they are a part of the research process and are doing a good thing by aiding in a process that could help many people in the future. All of these things put humanity into clinical research.
Myth #2: Informed consent is just a contract signing your rights away
Clinical research is heavily regulated, and strict rules have been put in place by the FDA and the National Institutes of Health to protect participants. One of these regulations includes informed consent. To many, informed consent may look like a contract that you must sign acknowledging the risks of a trial and relieving the research facility of any legal repercussions. However, the truth to informed consent is much more layered than this.
Informed consent is the process by which medical researchers give participants in clinical trials all of the information they need regarding a certain study. Information provided by informed consent includes:
- An explanation of the study and why research is needed
- A description of and information about all of the procedures that will take place during the trial
- Statements about expected and unexpected risks
- The rights of the research participant
- Statements describing confidentiality and medical records
- Compensation and costs of participation
- The expected length of the study
All clinical research participants must be given enough time to read through all of the information given to them before signing the informed consent document. It is also worth noting that, according to the FDA, informed consent agreements are not allowed to use language that ignores the rights of their participants or releases the research institutions from negligence.
Myth #3: Once you sign up for a clinical trial, you can’t leave
There is a lot of official-sounding language in the informed consent process. Many people think that their signature locks them into a clinical trial without any way out. While there are some medical consequences to leaving certain studies early, clinical research participation is 100% voluntary. Participants are free to leave trials at any point in the process. In fact, participants are still entitled to benefits that were offered to them while participating, even if they leave early.
There are many reasons why someone might leave a clinical trial early. They may feel as though the treatment isn’t working, or that the research s not worth the side effects. They may simply feel like they don’t want to participate without a specific reason. Whatever the reason is, participants are always able to leave a trial without worrying about any legal repercussions.
Learn More About Clinical Trials at LCCR
At Lehigh Center for Clinical Research, we are committed to delivering quality care to our participants. Learn more about our ongoing trials if you feel like participating in a clinical study is right for you. Contact us today with any questions or concerns about or facility, research, and standard of care. We are so excited to work with you while we participate in the advancement of mental healthcare.