The informed consent for hereditary cancer




Rosa Ma. Álvarez-Gómez, Hereditary Cancer Clinic, Instituto Nacional de Cancerología; Medical, Dentistry and Health Sciences, Health Humanities Area (Bioethics), UNAM; Mexico City, Mexico
Ingrid Vargas-Huichochea, Faculty of Medicine, Research Division, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, UNAM, Mexico City, Mexico
Luis A. Herrera-Montalvo, General Director’s Office, Instituto Nacional de Medicina Genómica. Mexico City, Mexico
Asunción Álvarez-del Río, Faculty of Medicine, Research Division, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, UNAM, Mexico City, Mexico


The term informed consent (IC) refers to the indispensable communicative process for the medical and research act, where a person approves the performance of diagnostic and/or therapeutic actions, or involvement in a research with full comprehension of the objective, benefits, limitations, and potential complications of the decision. The IC involves indispensable ethical elements: (a)information, sufficient, and clear to facilitate its understanding; (b) the capacity of the person invited to make decisions, beingphysically, mentally, and legally competent, and (c) the voluntariness of the process, for a decision free of coercion. For cancerpredisposition molecular testing, IC bioethical challenges have been documented, for example, clarification of complex information, results of future relevance for health and family, the ownership of the result, and the uncertainty value of certain results, amongothers. There is a convergence of IC with genetic counseling, which aims to educate about inherited diseases. Their apparentsimilarity has limited the optimal performance of one or the other processes, restraining their respective benefits. The presentreview seeks to provide an overview of the status of IC in hereditary cancer, as cardinal point for improve its application.



Keywords: Hereditary cancer. Cancer research. Informed consent. Bioethics.