Consent Should Be Emphasized, Rather

This was unknown to a researcher who wanted to test a new rehabilitation drug specifically on long-term alcoholics. As a reward for her participation, he offered Maggie some time away from the center. Maggie of course jumped at the chance without further considering the risk factors to either her physical or emotional health. The counselor working with Maggie should have joined the informed consent process, and would have been able to help her make a better decision.

Recommendation 5.4 states that mechanisms should be in place to protect the privacy and confidentiality of patient records. Confidentiality is of utmost concern, especially for vulnerable patients.

In the rehabilitation profession, the history of drug and alcohol use is of utmost sensitivity and privacy to both in- and outpatients. Those visiting the facility trust its professionals with their deepest secrets, some of which they are utterly ashamed of. It is therefore highly important to maintain confidentiality also when research subjects are approached for participation in tests.

This correlates with the informed consent issue.

Jonathan came to our facility for assistance with his heroine habit. He was given the opportunity to participate in research to test the effects of a new treatment for his condition. His consent was fully informed, and he reported very good results, with very few side-effects. However, privacy was very important to Jonathan, and he required that both his name and the location of his rehabilitation be removed from the records.

This was however not done to the extent required, and a supervisor at Jonathans work was able to easily establish his drug and research history with the facility and the researchers involved. This was significantly harmful to Jonathan on both a personal.


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