Table 1: Types of informed consent (Salvaterra et al30 [30], modified).

Types of informed consent Definition Advantages Disadvantages
Specific, or fully restricted, informed consent This is the classic type of consent, in conformity with bioethics declarations, recommendations and codes Biological samples and data can only be used for immediate research. This model guarantees the maximum protection of the donor’s autonomy. Prohibits research not authorized in the original consent. High costs of research. Possible loss of unused biological material.
Partially narrow consent A less rigid version of specific informed consent Allows use of the biological samples and data for the immediate research and also for future studies directly or indirectly connected to it. Narrowness –not too rigid- limited to the research goals stated
Multi-layered consent The typical type used in studies presented in the scientific literature. Includes different options stating the knowledge goals to be reached through distinct but not yet specified studies. The donor can be asked to approve the use of samples for:
1)future studies of the same phase;
2) studies in research areas that are similar in terms of the pathology type (for example, diabetes, cancer, etc.);
3) future studies in independent research areas but on the same pathology (ex. pharmacokinetics studies, population studies, etc.)
When the biological material is stored in a network of biobanks that manage studies with totally different goals [38], it may happen that the consent given is for a kind of research that is totally different from kind of study that researchers wish to do [38]
Broad consent The consent is not actually informed. Rather, it is a generic transposition of news, in consideration of the uncertainty of future research. Permits the use of biological samples and their data for the research in question and also for the future study of any kind. The rights of the subject are sacrificed to the interests of the study, contrary to the national and international legislation on the self-determination of subjects.
Blanket consent The biological sample obtained for clinical tests is stored in the biobank and remains there for an indefinite time. Goals and research are not specified. The donor can refuse permission for the sample and data to be kept in the biobank.
Open consent This type is used for the collection of biological material in populations No limitations to the type of research allowed. At the moment of donation, the donors give up their rights to the protection of their personal data and are aware that their privacy cannot be guaranteed.