Maybe a new contract is needed between medicine and society that assumes a default position that says that everyone attending hospital should be involved in medical research, unless they specifically opt out of the process at the time of consent?
This approach has already been used in some European countries for organ donation and has led to a quadrupling in consent rates.
Whatever the solution, the clinical trials await patiently those willing to put their faith in the system and hope for medical breakthroughs, if not for them, then for the benefit of others.
This is a quote from Should Patients Be Obliged to Take Part in Research published on the BBC News Site.
It’s an issue we’re having to cope with in our own project, although in our case we’re only collecting data. There’s no treatment involved and the data is anonymised.
Without question the need for patient consent and ethics approval is a load on our project we could do without, so default opt-in would work well for us.