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This policy document is part of a response submitted by the Progress Educational Trust (PET) to the Nuffield Council on Bioethics' Consultation on Human Bodies in Medicine and Research.

In your opinion are there any forms of encouragement or incentive to provide bodily material or participate in first-in-human research that could invalidate a person's consent?

People should be assumed to be autonomous, rational agents capable of considering forms of encouragement and choosing to resist them. It is therefore unlikely that any form of encouragement would invalidate a person's consent, so long as this encouragement did not involve sanctions or coercion (see our answer to Question 16).

There are many areas of life in which encouragement and incentives exert an influence, and are not deemed to invalidate a competent individual's ability to consent. Rather, the individual is considered capable of weighing the costs and benefits of a course of action. The same principle should apply to the donation of human bodily material.