13. Medical Research
At the moment, the law says that adults with incapacity in Scotland cannot take part in medical research.
This means that when research is being done into things like poisons or alcohol, people who are incapable because of poison or the alcohol cannot take part in the research.
This also means that adults who are incapable because of strokes cannot take part in research to find better ways to treat strokes.
This means an important group cannot take part in research.
Normally an adult's nearest relative or guardian has to agree to the adult taking part in research. We think this should change so that an adult with no nearest relative or guardian can have two doctors (the adult's GP and another independent doctor) agree to the adult taking part in medical research. The adult would stop taking part straight away if they showed any sign of being unhappy with the research.
If there is no guardian or nearest relative to agree, should we say that two doctors can agree to the adult taking part in research?
When drafting their power of attorney should adults be asked if they want to be involved in health research?
Do you have any more thoughts about this?