Consent and Participant Information Guidance

Principles of consent: Emergency research

Emergency research poses its own set of challenges in terms of providing information about the research and obtaining consent.

Emergency research is when:

  • Treatment needs to be given urgently, and
  • It is necessary to take urgent action for the purposes of the study.

In some emergency situations:

  • Potential participants may lack capacity to give consent themselves, and
  • Obtaining consent from a legal representative / consulting others is not reasonably practicable.

Guidance is provided here on how to proceed in such situations. It is organised according to UK nation and may be explored by selecting the relevant UK nation on the map.

If your study involves recruitment from more than one UK nation, you can return to this interactive map to explore other jurisdictions later.

Key points to consider are:

  • Is my study a Clinical Trial of an Investigational Medicinal Product (CTIMP)?
    To find out, you should visit CTIMP in our Glossary and use the MHRA algorithm.
    For CTIMPs the law is the same across the UK; although the details of who can give consent may vary between nations.
  • If your study is not a CTIMP:
    The law regulating how children or adults can be included in your emergency research will vary, depending on where in the UK your research takes place.
UK Map Link to Scottish info Link to English info Link to Welsh info Link to Northern Ireland info

Select the relevant UK nation on the map.