§ 26 and 37. Mr. Edelman
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) whether he will require National Health Service hospitals not to proceed with experimental research on patients unless the patient has given his consent in writing to any such intervention unrelated to the direct treatment of his condition, at least 48 hours previous to his admission to hospital;
(2) what are his instructions to hospitals concerning experiments on voluntary patients; and, in particular, whether he will publish the form of consent which voluntary patients are required to sign for this purpose.
§ Sir K. Joseph
The participation of patients in clinical experiments is an ethical matter on which the relevant professional bodies have issued advice and guidance. The advice, which has been commended to hospital authorities, makes it clear that a patient's consent to participation must be freely given and must be based upon a proper understanding of the nature and consequences of what is proposed. There is no standard form of consent for this purpose.