For informed consent to occur, there must be a shared decision-making process between the psychologist and the person with whom the psychologist is engaged in a professional relationship (whether patient, client, or research subject). The psychologist must present adequate information to the other person such that he or she can understand and then decide whether to participate in that professional relationship. Three additional conditions must be met in order for informed consent to be legally valid:
- The information presented to the client must be easily able to be understood by the client.
- The client’s agreement to participate has to be voluntary.
- The client must be legally competent to give consent.
For this Discussion, you explore informed consent considerations for populations that need specific protections. To prepare, select one of the following populations to use for this Discussion: minors, prisoners, inpatients, or individuals with cognitive impairments.