An assessment of patient consent examinations for vulnerable populations
Information regarding the regulation and protection of vulnerable populations within the biomedical field have been notoriously scarce throughout history. Although there are various documents that promote the protection of such populations, like the Belmont Report and the Helsinki Declaration, there is a lack of universal agreement on the regulatory guidelines in the treatment of vulnerable populations, especially in the realm of consent. Vulnerable populations are defined as those with, “relative inability to advocate for their own interests,” and are therefore more susceptible to mistreatment within the medical system. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that informed and proper consent is gathered. There are considerable challenges, however, they might limit the capacity to consent, which may be, but not limited to: educational barriers, language barriers, mental impairments, physical or mental disabilities, and more. Through the examination of various consent assessments, an ethical guideline to the treatment of vulnerable populations can be garnered. The assessments examined were the MMSE, ACE, MOCA, and MACCAT-T, although others do exist. Through the evaluation of the benefits and limitations of each of the examinations, a greater understanding and appreciation for patient treatment can be fostered.