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Office of Research Integrity

Standard Consent Guide

NOTE: Italicized statements are examples of MUSC standard wording. These statements should be printed in regular type on the actual consent form.

Medical University of South Carolina

If the study involves using different consent forms for different populations, identify the population group as the subtitle of the study.


    Describe purpose. Studies of drugs/devices or comparison of procedures should include a statement that the purpose of the study includes an evaluation of the safety and effectiveness of the article or procedure.

    You are being asked to volunteer for a research study. This research is sponsored by .... (name study sponsor or if there is no outside sponsor state the Medical University of South Carolina). The purpose of this study is to .... You are being asked to participate in this study because you are [have] . . . . The investigator in charge of this study is ... (name the principal investigator). This study is being done at .... (give number of sites) and will involve approximately .... volunteers.


    Outline in chronological order the procedures to be followed. Give sufficient detail for the subject to understand the full extent of his/her participation. If the study protocol involves routine medical care as well as investigative procedures, explicitly state what will be done as routine care, and what part of the procedures will be carried out for the sole purpose of the research. Identify all drugs, devices, and procedures, which are experimental. This also includes all drugs or devices, which have FDA approved indications but are being used in this investigation for non-approved indications. If applicable, describe randomization procedures, double-blinds, use of placebos, etc.).

    If you agree to be in this study, the following will happen:
    1. You will have a physical examination, your medical chart will be reviewed, and blood and urine will be collected for laboratory tests. Approximately … teaspoons (or other commonly understood units such as tablespoons or cups) of blood will be drawn for these tests. (If the physical examination and test results show that you are eligible for study treatment, you will be randomly assigned to one of two groups. This means that you have a 50/50 chance (like flipping a coin) of being in either group. Neither the researchers nor you will make the choice of which group to which you are assigned. The two groups are Group A (Drug XXX) and Group B (placebo, an inactive substance).
    2. Group A will receive XXX, the investigational drug, in tablet form, … times a week for …weeks for a total of … weeks. Group B will receive placebo, also in tablet form, according to the same schedule.
    3. An x-ray of your lungs will be done once at the beginning of the study, and again at the end of the study, in order to check …. Each x-ray procedure will take about … hour(s).
    4. Once every two weeks, you will have a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) exam. For the MRI exam, you will lie down on a narrow bed which will then be placed in a tunnel that is 6 feet by 22 inches wide and open at each end. You will lie there quietly for about one hour, during which time you will hear a loud noise. You may feel warm during this procedure.
    5. Once a week, a blood sample will be drawn from a vein in your arm. Each sample will be approximately … teaspoons; a total of about … tablespoons will be drawn for the whole study.
    6. The researchers will check your medical records to gather information about ….
    7. You may be withdrawn from the study without your consent if the researchers believe it is in your best interest or if you fail to follow study procedures.
    Participation in the study will take about . . .visits over a period of ...days/weeks/months.

    Give details of all risks and or discomforts. List risks in order of severity, frequency, and possible sequelae.
    1. Drug XXX: If you are in the group that receives Drug XXX, the following side effects are possible: ……. These side effects are serious but have occurred in less than … of previous human studies of XXX using comparable doses. If … occurs, it will be treated by …., (and you will be taken off the study). Other side effects, which are less severe but may occur more frequently are ….
    2. Randomization: You will be assigned to a treatment program by chance. The treatment you receive may prove to be less effective or to have more side effects than the other study treatment(s) or other available treatments.
    3. Placebo: If you are in the group that receives placebo, your condition will go without active treatment for … weeks.
    4. Radiation: The amount of radiation, you will be exposed to is relatively small. Such doses of radiation may be potentially harmful, but the risks are so small that they are difficult to measure. If you have already had many x-rays, you should discuss this with the researchers before agreeing to be in the study. -OR- As a result of participating in the study, you will receive a significant amount of radiation. The amount is similar to that received in many standard x-ray procedures, but is far more than you would receive from natural daily exposure or in the normal course of treatment, and carries at least a theoretical risk. If you are especially concerned with radiation exposure, you should discuss this with the researchers.
    5. MRI: Because the MRI machine acts like a large magnet, it could move iron-containing objects in the MRI room during your examination, which could in the process possibly harm you. Precautions have been taken to prevent such an event from happening; loose metal objects, like pocket knives or key chains, are not allowed in the MRI room. If you have a piece of metal in your body, such as a fragment in your eye, aneurysm clips, ear implants, spinal nerve stimulators, or a pacemaker, you will not be allowed into the MRI room and cannot have a MRI.

      Having a MRI may mean some added discomfort to you. In particular, you may be bothered by feelings of claustrophobia and by the loud banging noise during the study. Temporary hearing loss has been reported from the loud noise. This is why you will be asked to wear earplugs. At times during the test, you may be asked not to swallow for a while, which can be uncomfortable.
    6. Venipuncture: The risks of drawing blood include temporary discomfort
      from the needle stick, bruising and infection. Fainting could occur.
    7. Unknown Risks: The experimental treatments may have unknown side effects. The researchers will let you know if they learn anything that might make you change your mind about participating in the study.

    Outline the direct benefit to the subject, if none, say so.

    (If subject is randomized) The potential benefit to you is that the treatment you receive may prove to be more effective than the other study treatment or than other available treatments, although this cannot be guaranteed.

    If you are in the group that receives Drug XXX and it proves to treat your condition with fewer side effects than the current standard therapy, you may benefit from participating in the study; however, this cannot be guaranteed.


    There will be no direct benefit to you from participating in this study. However, it is hoped that the information gained from the study will help in the treatment of future patients with conditions like yours/will help the researcher learn more about ….

  6. COSTS:

    Outline what the participant can expect to pay for and or what is being provided free for participation. Any charges to subjects for investigational drugs or devices must be authorized by the Food and Drug Administration.

    The following are examples of cost statements:

    (Example 1) You will not be charged for any of the study treatments or procedures. The costs of Drug XXX, the administration of the study drug, the x-rays, MRI exams, all tests associated with this study, and all office visits will be covered by the study.

    (Example 2) You or your insurance company will be billed for the clinic visits, and all standard laboratory tests (e.g. routine blood counts and blood chemistry tests). Drug XXX will be provided free of charge and you will not be billed for tests required for purposes of research (e.g. extra blood tests, x-rays, or MRI exams). Because this treatment is experimental, your insurance company may refuse to pay for costs related to this treatment, in which case you will be held financially responsible.

    (Example 3) The cost associated with this study treatment program will be charged to you or your insurance carrier; however, because this treatment is experimental your insurance company may refuse to pay for it. It is possible that your insurance company will refuse to pay for this treatment program after you have already received your treatment and you will have to pay for your care.


    Include amount and payment schedule. Payment should accrue as the study progresses and should not be contingent upon the subject completing the study. If participants are not to be compensated, then state so.

    You will not be paid for participating in this study.


    In return for your time, effort and travel expenses, you will be paid $… for participation in this study. If you do not complete the study, you will receive … for each week of participation.

    If you receive $600 or more from MUSC (including cash, checks, gift cards or other gifts) during the calendar year, you will receive a tax Form 1099 and the IRS will be notified of the amount you received.


    Describe all appropriate alternative procedures or courses, if any, of treatment that might be advantageous to the subject. To enable a rational choice to participate in the research study, subjects should be aware of the full range of options available to them. The person obtaining the subject=s consent should be able to discuss available alternatives include side effects of these alternatives and answer questions that the subject may raise about them.

    If you choose not to participate in this study, you could receive other treatments for your condition. The standard therapy for your condition is …

    Include any of the following additional elements of consent as applicable. Continue to use outline form (I, J, K, etc.)

    ___ New Information: If there are significant new findings during the course of the study, you will be notified.

    ___ Release of Medical Records: You will be asked to sign a separate release for the release of your medical records. (Required if medical records other than research related medical records are to be used.)

    ___ Student Paragraph: Your participation or discontinuance will not constitute an element of your academic performance nor will it be a part of your academic record at this Institution.

    ___ Employee Participation: Your participation or discontinuance will not constitute an element of your job performance or evaluation nor will it be a part of your personnel record at this Institution.

    ___ Confidentiality Certificate: (If a DHHS Confidentiality Certificate has been obtained, include the following paragraph.)

    A Certificate of Confidentiality has been obtained from the Federal Government for this study to help insure your privacy. This certificate means that researchers cannot be forced to tell people who are not connected with the study, including courts, about your participation, without your written consent. If we see something that would immediately endanger you, your child, or others, we may discuss it with you, if possible, or seek help.

    ___ Sponsor Commitment: Sponsoring companies often request that their own wording be used for treatment and compensation for study related injuries. Sponsors may include a description of what the sponsor will cover in this section only. The wording of MUSC"s standard statement was formulated with the advice of legal counsel with the intent of adhering to the requirements of Federal and State regulations and cannot be changed.

    ___ Disclosure of Pregnancy Testing Results of Females Aged 17 Years and Younger: During your participation in this study, you will be given a pregnancy test. If you are under 16 years of age, the results will be shared with your parents and/or legal guardian.

    If you are 16 years or older, you have the right to direct that such test results not be shared with your parents or legal guardian. Please initial in the space below to indicate your choice. Your choice will not affect your ability to participate in this research project:
    ___ Yes, you may share my pregnancy test results with my parents or legal guardian.
    ___ No, you may not share my pregnancy test results with my parents or legal guardian.

    ___ Clinical Trial Registry Databank: For applicable clinical trials, include the statement below. It is the responsibility of the sponsors and investigators to determine if their clinical trial meets the definition of an “applicable clinical trial” and to ensure compliance with the most current applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.

    "A description of this clinical trial will be available on, as required by U.S. Law. This web site will not include information that can identify you. At most, the web site will include a summary of the results. You can search this web site at any time."

One of the following versions of the standard paragraphs must be included in all informed consents as required by Federal regulations and MUSC IRB policies. They are commitments and/or responses to Federal regulations by this Institution.

Standard Paragraphs - Not FDA Regulated (MUSC)
Standard Paragraphs - FDA Regulated (MUSC)
Standard Paragraphs - Child Not FDA Regulated (MUSC)
Standard Paragraphs - Child FDA Regulated (MUSC)