Basic Rights of Research Participants

California Law (Health & Safety Code Section 24172) requires that any person asked to take part as a subject in research involving a medical experiment, or any person asked to consent to such participation on behalf of another, is entitled to receive a list of rights written in a language in which the person is fluent.

*The rights below are the rights of every person who is asked to be in a research study. 

As an experimental subject, I have the following rights.

  1. To be told what the study is trying to find out,
  2. To be told what will happen to me and whether any of the procedures, drugs, or devices is different from what would be used in standard practice,
  3. To be told about the frequent and/or important risks, side effects, or discomforts of the things that will happen to me for research purposes,
  4. To be told if I can expect any benefit from participating, and, if so, what the benefit might be.
  5. To be told of the other choices I have and how they may be better or worse than being in the study,
  6. To be allowed to ask any questions concerning the study both before agreeing to be involved and during the course of the study,
  7. To be told what sort of medical treatment is available if any complications arise,
  8. To refuse to participate at all or to change my mind about participation after the study has started.  This decision will not affect my right to receive the care I would receive if I were not in the study,
  9. To receive a copy of the signed and dated consent form,
  10. To be free of pressure when considering whether I wish to agree to be in the study.

*From the book Cancer Clinical Trials Experimental Treatments & How They Can Help You by Robert Finn.