It is important to understand that informed consent is always given, before the commencement of a medical or health care treatment. Normally, informed consent is always followed, for purposes of following ethics that regulate the profession under consideration. It is difficult to understand this concept of informed consent, without the analysis of various theoretical frameworks.
Naturalism and constructivism are the best theoretical frameworks that can be used for purposes of analyzing this concept of informed consent. Naturalistic observation is normally used for purposes of studying the behavior of an individual in a natural set up. Under this type of observation, the parties to the research are not always aware that they are being observed or studies. Based on this fact, they cannot give their free and informed consent. Furthermore, this concept of naturalistic observation normally breaches the privacy of individuals, hence it is unethical practice2. Constructivism is a theoretical framework of knowledge. It explains that human beings are able to generate meaning and knowledge because of the interactions between their ideas and experiences.
Based on these facts, when an individual seeks to give out an informed consent, then they are giving it, based on rationality, and knowledge. This means that they are well aware on the reasons they are giving out the permission, and the consequences that would arise, by giving out the permission. One of the major characteristic of naturalism is that it is scientific in nature. It emanates from the fact that anything which is real, must come from nature. Nature is viewed as actions, forces and objects which give up their secrets to an objective scientific inquiry3. The naturalistic view of mankind is depicted as that of animals, living in the natural world, and responding to internal stresses, environmental forces, and drives.
Human beings cannot understand and control these natural forces. In any research