Reforming the Informed Consent Process and Embedding Key Cultural Aspects; Adequacy of the Informed Consent Process in Properly Serving the Black Community in Charlottesville

Author: ORCID icon
Giles, Jordan, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Louis, Garrick, University of Virginia
Forelle, MC, University of Virginia

Informed consent is an essential component to medical procedures and research studies. It is a process by which a potential patient is informed of the nature of a study or procedure, its risks, benefits, alternatives, and the risks and benefits of the alternatives. All of this information is meant to equip the patient in making a completely informed, voluntary decision whether or not to participate in the study or procedure. Informed consent is a critical component of medical practice, yet its efficacy, particularly in serving minority communities, remains a topic of concern. While intended to uphold patient autonomy and informed decision-making, current practices often fall short, leading to potential consequences such as low satisfaction, poor adherence to treatment, and possible lawsuits against healthcare practitioners and organizations. Moreover, minority communities face unique barriers, including language, socio-economic factors, and historical distrust of medical researchers. To address these issues, a technical solution in the form of a culturally sensitive app is proposed, aiming to standardize the process while incorporating cultural nuances. The STS portion of this research delves into the historical context of informed consent and the history of medical racism, particularly its impact on the Black community in Charlottesville. Through a comprehensive literature review and analysis of the treatment of the Black community with regard to medical research in Charlottesville, my work aims to identify shortcomings and provide insights to improve the informed consent process, ultimately fostering more equitable healthcare practices.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Informed Consent, Charlottesville, Medical racism, Healthcare, Application
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