The ethical concept of Informed Consent provides individuals with the right and the opportunity to approve of events that will occur regarding his or her own person. In medicine, informed consent is obtained for treatment and for research participation. However, under some circumstances, prospective informed consent cannot be obtained because of the devastating clinical condition of the patient. In emergency circumstances, treatment is never withheld if obtaining informed consent from a critically ill person is not possible or if a delay while seeking surrogates would further endanger life. In emergency research circumstances, waiving informed consent for study participation is fraught with additional ethical considerations. This article will review a presentation given at the June 2, 2006 conference entitled "The Ethics of Research in Emergency Medicine".