Children and health-care research: best treatment, best interests and best practice

Clinical Ethics 6 (1):15-19 (2011)
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In order for children to receive the best possible medical treatment, it is essential that research is conducted to discover safe and effective interventions and dosages. This article focuses on the legal and ethical implications of recruiting into health-care research minors who are not competent to consent. It considers the role played by best interests in obtaining valid parental consent for the participation of children in research, both at common law and under the Regulations that govern clinical trials of medicinal products. In doing so it questions the legality of parental consent to children's involvement in research, and identifies some inconsistencies in parental understandings of best interests in relation to medical research and treatment



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