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BMJ Roundtable on capacity to consent (for publication)

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posted on 07.01.2021, 15:42 by Simone RagavoolooSimone Ragavooloo, Cat Chatfield

Obtaining consent from individuals for publication of their personal data is an integral legal and ethical step in the publication process. Where an individual is vulnerable or lacks the capacity to consent on their own behalf, there can be additional challenges for both authors and publishers. However, there is little guidance on best practice on this topic and the complexities involved in obtaining consent for these individuals can often lead to a higher rejection rate for research that involves vulnerable patient groups. To ensure our policies are both ethical and inclusive, BMJ held a roundtable discussion on capacity to consent to publication, where participants with expertise in patient consent policy, medical ethics, law and mental health fields were recruited to weigh in on key ethical questions that arise when obtaining consent for individuals who may lack capacity.


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