Universal Consent & Biological Samples
Let UCLA know how you want your leftover biological samples used
Support Medical Research With Informed Consent
Help us find answers that could improve care for a wide range of health conditions. You can decide if you want to share leftover biological samples from your UCLA Health lab tests or treatments to support research. All UCLA Health patients are asked to complete the Universal Consent for Biological Samples to let UCLA know how to handle leftover samples for research.
Participation is easy, free, safe and confidential, with a short, one-time form to complete. Take the next step to drive medical breakthroughs:
- If possible, take a moment now to complete the Universal Consent for Biological Samples online (available to adult patients only). It takes about eight minutes. You’ll need your UCLA Health medical record number (MRN). Language options include English, Spanish, Farsi, Mandarin, Korean and Arabic and are all available to adult patients only.
- You can also learn about other ways to complete the Universal Consent.
- Pediatric patients and their parents/legal guardians may only complete the Universal Consent in-person at certain UCLA Health locations. Click here to view a list of participating pediatric locations.
What Our Consent Form Covers for Biological Samples and Health Information
The Universal Consent for Biological Samples asks that you answer up to three consent questions. You may indicate that you either consent or decline to participate for each question:
- Can we make your biological samples and information available for research? Biological samples include blood, urine and tissues (such as skin) left over from medical tests and other needed procedures. Normally these samples are thrown away. We will only use them for research with your permission. With a “Yes,” we also collect certain details from your medical record but DO NOT use your name or other identifiers. Under the same set of consent questions, you also have the option to agree to give an extra tube of blood for research during a future clinical blood draw or IV placement. There is no risk to you — you would already be having your blood drawn as part of a standard, scheduled clinical visit.
- Do you want to hear about other research opportunities? We may come across other ways you can help medical research. These opportunities won’t necessarily be related to your samples. If “Yes,” we may reach out with a call, text message or email.
- Do you want to receive certain actionable genetic results? We analyze the DNA of the biological samples we receive. During research, these results remain connected to the samples but never reveal your identity. DNA analysis may identify genetic changes that can lead to disease and that you can possibly do something about. You can choose to learn about these genetic changes.
Additional Considerations for Those Still Trying to Decide
If you’re still trying to decide whether to participate, consider these points:
- You can make a difference: The future of medicine depends on building large and diverse research collections of biological samples and health information. You can help researchers better understand a range of diseases and develop new tests and treatments. We’re currently prioritizing samples for our ATLAS Community Health Initiative.
- Your health care won’t change: Whether you participate or not, your decision won’t affect your relationship with UCLA Health or the services you receive. The only potential impact to you is the possibility of receiving certain genetic results that could affect your health.
- Participation is safe and secure: All research samples are sent to the Biobank, a secure facility at UCLA. Your personal information is not available to researchers. Your samples never include your name or other information that could identify you. Instead, samples are assigned a number for research purposes. Only UCLA-approved researchers will be able to use the samples or associated health information for their studies.
Get More Information
If you have further questions, please take a look at our frequently asked questions. You can also contact the Embedded Clinical Research and Innovation Unit (ECRI) at UCLA at [email protected] or 310-794-0981.
Universal Consent Videos
We have translated the universal video consent into the following languages to ensure that all patients understand the propose of the consent: Spanish, Farsi, Arabic, Mandarin, and Korean. Your DNA may be the key to unlocking answers and breakthroughs for you and other patients like you.
Don’t forget to complete the consent for biological samples on the iPad before you leave the office at any of our participating locations or when you receive the text at your next appointment reminder.
Please complete the consent and let UCLA Health know ('yes or no') if you would like to share your biological samples to advance science and medicine.
You will need your medical record number to complete the consent.
“UCLA has the people power required to manipulate complex data. We know how to deal with large datasets relevant to health care and are training the next generation through graduate programs in bioinformatics and genomic research. Physicians used to make decisions based on 5 or 6 data points, but now our goal is to help them make them based on 1000s. We have the infrastructure and workforce to do that.”
Steven M. Dubinett, MD
Interim Dean, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, UCLA