In October 1992, the Consumers Association publication 'Which? Way to Health' published a check-list of questions for would-be guinea pigs in clinical trials to ask their doctors:
- What is the purpose of the study?
- What will happen to results of the research?
- Can I have a copy of the results?
- What are the known risks and side-effects?
- Will I benefit from taking part in the trial?
- What can be done to make me better if I get a problem while taking part?
- What will I have to do if I take part? Will I need lots of blood tests? Will there be lots of hospital visits or forms to fill in?
- Will I be paid? Will the doctor be paid? By whom and how much?
- Has the trial been approved by a research ethics committee?
- Why is the new medicine thought to be an effective alternative to existing treatments?
- Can I have time to think about whether to take part?
- Can I have written details to take away with me?
- Would I get compensation if it all goes wrong for me?
- What will happen if I change my mind before the end of the trial? Are rebound effects likely when I stop?
- Would I be able to continue taking the medicine after the end of the trial if I found it useful?
- Will my heart be monitored after the trial and, if so, for how long?