Ethical Conduct of Clinical Research Involving Children – Paediatric Research Example

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The paper 'Ethical Conduct of Clinical Research Involving Children' is a perfect example of pediatric  research. It is often challenging to analyze, evaluate, and weigh the risks of proposed research that includes infants, children, and adolescents. This is because they are young and do not understand some things to make firm decisions in life (Field & Behrman, 2004). Children more often depend on parents and guardians to make decisions for them because they trust that they can make sound decisions. In this case, where a test for new medicates for children suffering from cancer needs to be done causes an ethical dilemma because children may find it difficult to understand the whole concepts of the chronic disease as well as the medication involved. On the other hand, the parents may be forced to help in making a decision on behalf of their children.

However, there is anxiety associated with making decisions on behalf of the children as it is not certain that the decisions they are making are the right decision. Therefore, it is the duty of the parents and guardians to have an understanding of their child’ s participation in research.

Parents should be able to understand the purpose of the research as well as any procedures that the child might undergo. In addition, it is also important to know the potential consequences of the child’ s research participation, this includes the likelihood and duration of the research as well as the harms, and benefits that are deemed to occur. Parents also have a right to agree or reject the participation of the research as well as withdraw the child from the study once it has started.

Moreover, it is also important for the investigators to be present to answer questions, maintain the confidentiality of the information received and provide information about the study finding (Field & Behrman, 2004).                       The process of parents deciding on whether their children should be involved in the research begins with the filling of the consent forms. In addition, informed consent is the cornerstone of ethical research. Children do not have the legal capacity to provide informed consent and thus the concept of permission from parents as well as the child assent has developed to help in research involving children.                       As for the parents, who have been requested to have their children undergo the research process normally undergo immense stress and pressure.

Some prefer to involve the assessment of the physicians other than making decisions on their own (Field, 2004).                       The similarities in the two dilemmas are that both the parent and the clinical research team have to both deals with children and have to talk to the children in regards to the research. In addition, it is challenging for both the parents and the clinical research team in making the decision to carry out the research as it is risky and has consequences.

The difference between the two dilemmas is that the parents are the ones who make the consent to have the children undergo the research process after talking to their children. My perspective has not changed in regards to parents making consent to the decisions they make on behalf of their children. This is because parents are more capable of making sound decisions for children as opposed to children who might not be knowing what is happening and might find it difficult to make certain decisions thus need help from parents and guardians.


Field, M., & Behrman, R. (2004). Institute of Medicine (U.S.). Committee on Clinical Research

Involving Children. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press.

Field, M. (2004). Ethical conduct of clinical research involving children. Washington, D.C.:

National Academies Press.

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