Writing Compass


Below is a paragraph from a multi-paragraph assignment a college student was given to trace the history of informed consent.  The author has given permission to publish the paragraph with anonymity

For this web page, words or phrases that were struck in editing appear in blue in the original version

The revised version shows the corrections in red

Suggestions for adding supplementary text to the assignment appear in purple. 

Preservation of the writer's voice is a primary focus of the editors.

At Writing Compass, we support the client's right to accept or reject the corrections and/or suggestions.


Original version with words and phrases to be removed in blue and supplementary suggestions in purple


. . . Overall, we are still moving in the right direction in the area of informed consent in the medical field.  The events that went on back in the 1950's  such as Henrietta Lacks cells being taken are unheard of in today's medical field.  Even though the medical consent form is vague, it still contains valuable information that does protect the patient in different ways. Add an example of the "vague" wording that troubles you in the current forms.  The only problem I had with the form was the vagueness of it.  If it were to be worded into more detail, it would be a much more effective piece of patient's rights within the medical fieldBegin a new paragraph here.  The Belmont Report Add the year it was adopted.and the Common Rule Add the year it was adopted, too. being enacted helps a lot because it gives the doctors more guidelines to follow.  They are actually having to follow a set of guidelines that are in writing.  Add a few of the new requirements to protect patients.  You might also describe the abuses of the Tuskegee Syphilis study that prompted the Belmont Report standards as the moral framework when humans are involved in experimental research.  Also, clarify that the Common Rule established a uniform set of rules for protection of human subjects.  You'll find links to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) forms that are universally used to ensure the informed consent of patients in hospitals today.  By adding some of these details, you will show you know the facts in the history of informed consent.  Before these were put into place, the doctors in the medical field had more room to get away with things they shouldn't have.  This also shows that we are actually trying to make improvements in informed consent.  We are understanding that we have a problem in this area and we are doing things to help slow down the times it happens.  I don't think we will ever be able to eliminate it, but using these laws and regulations can make it so that it happens on rare occasions.  These laws have definitely stopped the informed consent rules being broken, and if we continue to tweak these laws it will only make informed consent a higher standard in the medical field. . . .

Revised version with corrections added in red and supplementary suggestions in purple


. . . Overall, we are still moving in the right direction in the area of informed consent in the medical field.  The events that occurred back in the 1950's, such as when Henrietta Lackses cells were removed, are unheard of in today's medical facilities.  Even though modern medical consent forms are vague, they still contain valuable information that protects the patient in different ways.  Add an example of the "vague" wording that troubles you in the current forms.  If they were to be worded with more detail, consent forms would be much more effective assurances of patients' rights.  Begin a new paragraph here.  When the Belmont Report Add year it was adopted. and the Common Rule Add the year it was adopted, too.  were adopted, doctors were given more guidelines to follow.  They were required to follow a set of standards that were finally in writing.  Add a few of the new requirements to protect patients.  You might also describe the abuses of the Tuskegee Syphilis study that prompted the Belmont Report standards as the moral framework when humans are involved in experimental research.  Also, clarify that the Common Rule established a uniform set of rules for protection of human subjects.  You'll find links to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) forms that are universally used to ensure the informed consent of patients in hospitals today.  By adding some of these details, you will show that you know the facts in the history of informed consent.  Before these requirements were put into place, doctors had more room to evade specificity.  The uniform standards also show that there was a commitment to make improvements in informed consent.  It was generally understood that we have a problem in assuring patients' rights and efforts have been made to address infringement on those rights.  Although it is unlikely that patients' rights can be fully preserved, laws and regulations can make it so that violations occur on rare occasions.  These regulations have, for the most part, stopped the informed consent rights from being compromised.  If we continue to enforce these codes of conduct, it will only make informed consent a higher priority in the medical field. . . .

Actual Example of Editing