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Regulations and doctrine governing human tissue research are facing immense

pressure to ensure respect for the interests of tissue providers and of

researchers.Tiered consent presents tissue providers with a menu of research

categories to which they may consent, and it is a recognized best practice. Yet,

evidence in consumer psychology suggests that abundant choice causes decision

makers to experience information overload, make arbitrary choices, refrain from

choosing altogether, and experience regret following decision making. These

patterns result in systematically lower quality decision making. This article fleshes

out the potential limitations of expanded choice in tiered consent situations so that

use of this best practice, and the laws and doctrine governing it, best approaches

the ethical paradigm of informed consent.

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