Clinical trials are the primary way the most promising new preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic, and palliative measures move from the basic science laboratory to the bedside. Attracting participants to clinical trials occurs at a painstakingly slow pace, delaying the public's access to new care modalities. Additional ways are needed to increase the public's awareness and understanding of the important role of clinical trials. As key members of the health and social welfare promotion team, nurse-midwives/midwives are well positioned to help advance the public's access to clinical trials information. Generic ethical issues related to human subjects review processes, their specific application to clinical trials, and the impact of recent HIPAA legislation are discussed.