Informed consent is must when it comes to research that involving human subjects and it is a major ethical principle that guide researchers in their works. In the form of language, informed consent is a formal agreement that a patient or subject signs to give permission for a medical procedure or experiment such as surgery and the patient or subject is understand and aware regarding the procedure including the risk of it. From the legal definition of law dictionary, informed consent is a consent to medical treatment by a patient or to participation in a medical experiment by a subject after achieving an understanding of what is involved in the procedure and especially the risks of it. In research field, informed consent is a process of acquiring subjects or participants agreement and willingness to participate in the research.
The consent should be given voluntarily without any element of force, undue inducement or any other form of constraint. In obtaining the consent, participant should provided with the sufficient information without any deception regarding the study in an understandable language that include the purpose of study, the potential benefits of their involvement and most important, the possible risks of the study to allow them to make informed judgment and decisions about whether or not to participate in the research. This consent can be taken in a variety of shapes. It can be in a form of document which may or may not require a signature, a script which is read to the participant prior to proceeding with the survey or a paragraph to be read prior to completing a survey questioner.When involving human subjects, it can rises complex ethical issues where require careful thought and consideration on the both part researchers and the participants. One of the issues is about participant’s understanding and willingness to participate in the study.
its not just about signing a form, participants must understand the purpose, the procedures, the potential risks and benefits of their involvement, and their alternatives to participationn that they can withdraw at any time while the researcher should be transparent at all time. Besides that, participant privacy and Confidentiality should researcher’s top priority. All information given should be non-disclosed to any third party and in some country, there data protection act to protect the confidentiality that applicable to the researcher while conduct a research. In other ways, to avoid any confidentiality breach data can be collect anonymously or only the data that is really required is collected and all the data collected should be kept safely by the researcher. In other hands, respect and responsibility is also a related issue when the research involving human subjects.
Researchers should show their respect and responsibility to the participant especially while taking the informed consent. It will develop trust and give courage to the participant to tell the truth information so that clinching false conclusions by the over and under emphasizing results can be avoid. After all, It is researcher’s responsibility to maintain the reputation of educational research by adhering to the highest standards of quality research.