Alternative Forms of Community Consent

Alternative Forms of Community Consent

Adherence to ethical requirements is one of the pressing issues concerning research in health care. Informed consent has brought about many challenges due to the condition that people should give informed consent for the health services research in the same way that it is required for clinical research. The existing ethical guidelines have not offered a way of seeking permission in such cases, and managerial experimentation has therefore been left unchecked. Inappropriate requirements that people should give an informed consent may lead to health inequalities and decreased access to healthcare by the vulnerable groups (Parahoo, 2014). Such a scenario will affect the fundamental purpose of the National Health Service which uses health data to conclude the state of healthcare in the nation.  In this case, there is need to pursue alternative forms of community consent actively.

The primary goal of health services research is to evaluate the effectiveness of healthcare delivery through analysis of the health needs and outcomes. Health services research also estimates new structures in healthcare by looking into those organizational structures which impact health outcomes of a population. Health services research is not concerned with the use of experimental medical treatments which are seen in clinical research, and individual consent is required (Shelton et al, 2015). On the contrary, health services research seeks information about a population in general, and therefore alternative forms of community consent are necessary.

The growing developments in the area of human rights law and the need to get informed consent has made health services research complex. Most healthcare data analyzed in health services research is derived from data registries for various conditions and information is used by multiple people. Information such as residence must be present to compare geographical distribution of multiple illnesses which interferes with ultimate confidentiality (Grady, 2015). Anonymization of patients in a bid to protect their identities is a right approach but interferes with other aspects of health services research such as case-control studies.

Health services research aims at determining the effectiveness of different modes of service provision. The analysis mostly occurs after service has been long provided to decide whether or not it met the expectations and decided on whether a change in practice is required. It is clear that health services research is different from the traditional experimental research since it deals with the analysis of information only (Grady, 2015). The consent process for such research will be different from a scenario in which interventions are performed on the subjects, and an individual consent is involved. It is therefore essential to come with better methods of seeking approval from a population since it is different from that of an individual.

Involvement of my records of healthcare will not trigger a lot of issues as far as am concerned. I understand that the past documents can be used in analysis as a way of enhancing future care. I believe that existing medical records contain vital information which can be used to change the current practice and improve patient outcomes and health experience. I will only require that my identity should be kept anonymous, but I can allow healthcare professionals to use my past medical records. According to me, the evaluation of previous medical records is an effective strategy to help not just myself but also much more people through improved healthcare delivery.


Grady, C. (2015).Enduring and emerging challenges of informed consent. New England Journal of Medicine372(9), 855-862.

Parahoo, K. (2014). Nursing research: principles, process and issues. Palgrave Macmillan.

Shelton, A. K., Freeman, B. D., Fish, A. F., Bachman, J. A., & Richardson, L. I. (2015). A computer-based education intervention to enhance surrogates’ informed consent for genomics research. American Journal of Critical Care24(2), 148-155.

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