Surrogate decision makers may be poorly prepared to give informed consent for genomics research for their loved ones in intensive care. A review of the challenges and strategies associated with obtaining surrogates’ consent for genomics research in intensive care patients revealed that few well-controlled studies have been done on this topic. Yet, a major theme in the literature is the role of health care professionals in guiding surrogates through the informed consent process rather than simply witnessing a signature. Informed consent requires explicit strategies to approach potential surrogates effectively, educate them, and ensure that informed consent has been attained.
©2009 American Association of Critical-Care Nurses