Tips for Giving Proxy/Surrogate Consent to Participate in a Clinical Trial
-It is essential for a surrogate decision maker to know the subject’s values and preferences and keep his or her best interests in mind when consenting to participation in a clinical trial.
-Although challenging, discussing preferences with the patient before consenting can be a helpful tool when making an informed decision.
Protect the Patient
Remember that as a surrogate decision maker, it is your obligation to protect the patient from fear, discomfort, and distress, if possible.
Review Written Documents
If the patient has previously signed an advance directive, which specifies whether or not he or she wants to be considered for clinical research, it is necessary to follow these preferences.
Pursue what you believe the patient would want, even if this conflicts with what you think is best for him or her. It can be a highly emotional experience when a loved one becomes critically ill, and this may make it difficult to make a decision.
However, it is important to always prioritize the patient’s preferences.