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Should You Participate in Research?

There are many types of medical research. Some involve taking medications or tests, while others may look at medical records or require a questionnaire. Genetic research usually refers to mapping genes and determining the function of the gene and requires a DNA sample. All types of medical research are regulated by governments and institutions in order to protect the rights of the people participating in research.

Here are some general questions you should ask when you consider taking part in research.

  1. What is the purpose of the study?
  2. What are the benefits for my participation? The risks?
  3. What costs are entailed with the study?
  4. What will happen with the results of the study?

In general, research projects must be approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB). You will be asked to sign an informed consent form which provides you with information about the research project. If you decide not to participate in a research project, the doctors cannot refuse to treat you or your family.

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