Patient consent

Appropriate consents, permissions and releases must be obtained where authors wish to include case details or other personal information or images of patients and any other individuals in an Elsevier publication



Special considerations

  • Patients' and research subjects' names, initials, hospital or social security numbers, dates of birth or other personal or identifying information should not be used.
  • Images of patients or research subjects should not be used unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and explicit permission has been given as part of the consent. Even where consent has been given, identifying details should be omitted if they are not essential.
  • If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, authors should provide assurances that such alterations do not distort scientific meaning.

Non-identifiable images

  • Formal consents are not required for the use of entirely anonymised images from which the individual cannot be identified- for example, xrays, ultrasound images, pathology slides or laparoscopic images, provided that these do not contain any identifying marks and are not accompanied by text that might identify the individual concerned.
  • If consent has not been obtained, it is generally not sufficient to anonymise a photograph simply by using eye bars or blurring the face of the individual concerned.