Friday, August 1, 2008

Signing the consent form

After all  of the testing is complete, it is reviewed by the doctors and the transplant team.  If everything is favorable, the patient is invited back to sign the consent form in the presence of the transplant coordinator.

So, it was a long way to go to  sign a paper, but I understand that this is part of being in a clinical  trial.  It is different than just going to the doctors office.  Both parties, the subject and the research team have a big investment of time and money and/or time and health.  I can see now especially, how important it  is  that we trust  each other.

But at this point, I needed to go  up there and sign a form that states that  I know what I am getting myself  into.  It is actually read word for word by the transplant coordinator.  Luckily, I have a background in health care and could understand most of it.  I was encouraged to ask questions on anything that I did not understand.  So we went through it all together and then I signed the form.  The entire form had been e-mailed to me earlier, so I had ample time to read it  over before I had to sign my name at the bottom.  So, with this done, I was added to the transplant list and would be waiting for the phone call.

Just before I left the clinic, I had the very pleasant surprise of getting to meet Dr. Hering.  I had been reading everything I could about him and his work and had seen some video clips of him talking about his plans, so  I was very anxious to meet him and shake his hand.  He was every bit as impressive as I had expected, and very nice to talk with.  We discussed the procedure and he even took the devils advocate approach, quizzing me to assess whether I really knew what was involved.  I think I convinced him that I did and that I really believed this to be my best option for my long term health.  Having uncontrollable blood sugars is not good in either the short term or the long term.  I also  asked  about the pig islet cell research, which I think kind of amused him.

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