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A Journal on Anesthesiology, Resuscitation, Analgesia and Intensive Care
Minerva Anestesiologica 2009 July-August;75(7-8):443-6
Conducting research on the critically ill: an ethical perspective
Whetstine L. M.
Walsh University, North Canton, OH, USA
There are two primary concerns posed by research involving critically ill patients: whether such individuals are competent to give informed consent for participation and how and whether to proceed if they are not. This paper synthesizes the recent debate regarding the use of human research subjects who are critically ill, undertakes a conceptual analysis of informed consent and its application to such patients, and ultimately concludes that research on this vulnerable population may be ethical if specific measures are undertaken.