Reliance on third party consent for patients without decision-making capacity presents unique challenges for critical care research. We compared the attitudes and beliefs of Canadian research ethics boards (REBs) and intensive care unit researchers toward the use of various consent models for a low-risk randomized controlled trial.
Self-administered, scenario-based survey.
Sixty-two percent of eligible REBs (n = 83) and 78% of eligible researchers (n = 124) completed the questionnaire. The REBs were less comfortable endorsing alternative consent models when a substitute decision maker was unavailable, including consent provided by (a) the intensivist involved with the trial (2.0% vs 15.3%; P = .014), (b) the intensivist not involved with the trial (10.0% vs 36.7%; P = .001), (c) 2 physicians (the intensivist and another consultant, neither of whom is involved with the trial) (18.0% vs 54.1%; P