Clinical Research Glossary

dissent dissent

Refusing to be part of a research study.

Example of dissent in a sentence

A child can dissent or refuse to participate even if their parent or guardian has consented for them to participate in a study.

More Info

Children and adults who are unable to give legal consent may dissent to participate at any point during the research. Researchers should honor dissent whether it is communicated in a verbal or non-verbal way.

A participant can dissent and withdraw from most research at any time. Sometimes, when the research is likely to provide benefit to the individual receiving the intervention, dissent may not be honored, but every effort should be made to explain the reason to the participant.

Other info to think about when joining a study

The term “dissent” may be discussed when a parent or guardian reviews the consent form. You should know that even if a guardian provides consent, they have to ask the person who will be in the study if they want to be in the study or not. The person will either want to be in the study and assent or they may not want to be and dissent.

You can ask if there is an assent process and what that process will be like. You may want to also ask what happens if the guardian gives consent but the potential participant dissents.

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