Informed consent for research in Borderline Personality Disorder
Rachel E Dew1,2
1Center for Spirituality, Theology, and Health, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA
2Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, NC, USA
BMC Medical Ethics 2007,
8:4. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.
Previous research on informed consent for research in psychiatric
patients has centered on disorders that affect comprehension and
appreciation of risks. Little has been written about consent to
research in those subjects with Borderline Personality Disorder, a
prevalent and disabling condition.
Despite apparently intact cognition and comprehension of risks, a
borderline subject may deliberately choose self-harm in order to
fulfill abnormal psychological needs, or due to suicidality.
Alternatively, such a subject may refuse enrollment due to transference
or the desire to harm him or herself. Such phenomena could be
precipitated or prevented by the interpersonal dynamics of the informed
Caution should be exercised in obtaining informed consent for
research from subjects with Borderline Personality Disorder. A
literature review and recommendations for future research are discussed.