If your patient can read and understand the Consent Form, a witness signature is not necessary.
The ethics approval for CART-Wheel.org granted by the Melbourne Health Human Research Ethics Committee requires a witness signature on the Consent Form only in the following situations:
- when the potential participant cannot read or cannot understand English due to English not being their preferred language,
- when the participant is unable to read English due to blindness, cognitive impairment or is illiterate.
In these situations the witness is signing to state that they are satisfied that the project, as explained on the Consent Form, has been fully explained to the participant and that they believe the participant has been able to ask questions and receive satisfactory answers. Further, the witness believes that the participant has understood the explanation of the project.
If a witness signature is required, it is preferable that the witness be a member of your patient’s family or a friend, rather than yourself. If a relative or friend is not available, a staff member who is not directly related to CART-Wheel is the best choice.
Clinicians can return completed Consent Forms on behalf of their patients. The forms can be scanned (or photographed) and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or posted to:
CART-WHEEL BioGrid Australia
PO Box 2138
Royal Melbourne Hospital VIC 3050 Australia