‘Informed Consent’: The stories in the blood

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‘Informed Consent’: The stories in the blood

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Edward O’Blenis, Liz Hayes, and Cynthia Bastidas in Informed Consent Gulfshore Playhouse

Dr. Jillian Elliot, a genetic anthropologist, is slowly losing her mind. Like her mother before her, she has early onset Alzheimer’s, a horrible disease that steals the person’s memories, knowledge and personality.

Her mother died of it at age 36, when Jillian was just 7 years old and didn’t understand what was happening. Jillian doesn’t want the same thing to happen to her 4-year-old daughter when she starts developing symptoms.

She believes the disease can be cured, but it must be studied — even if that means cutting corners and being unethical. She is so determined to help find a cure that she gets blood under false pretenses from a Native American tribe living at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

And there lies the dilemma of “Informed Consent”: Is it ever right to do medical studies or testing without the fully informed consent of the patient?

In the end, at least for me, it is about love, not science.