Life insurance and clinical trial participants

Pankaj Shah

Abstract

Are the informed consent forms of clinical trials silent on the rights and obligations of participants with respect to their life insurance policies?

Though life insurance in India has poor penetration, it has increased over the last couple of years after the entry of private insurance providers. When a person buys his life insurance, the insurance company carries out the process of underwriting which involves the risk profile assessment of the individual on the basis of information provided, including reports of medical investigations (if done). The policy documents of the majority of insurance providers state that a claim is not allowed in a case of suicide within one year of commencement, or revival, of the policy. In a parallel situation, assume that a person enters a drug trial leading to change in the risk profile.

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