Emergency care needs to be underpinned by the highest quality evidence. However, research involving critically ill patients in the emergency setting has unique ethical, logistical and regulatory issues. Informed consent is a well-established principle in conventional research. In this article, we discuss informed consent as it pertains to the difficulties of research in the emergency setting. Alternatives to informed consent are discussed. Human research ethics committees require a greater understanding of consent issues in emergency care research for Australia to remain competitive internationally.
Keywords: emergency medicine; ethics; informed consent; research.
© 2016 Australasian College for Emergency Medicine and Australasian Society for Emergency Medicine.