Ethical Concerns in Research involving Children: “Understanding in order to Evolve” - Pages 45-49

Flavia Augusta de Orange1, Paulo Sergio Gomes Nogueira Borges2 and Pete G. Kovatsis3

1Instituto de Medicina Integral Prof. Fernando Figueira (IMIP), Recife, Brazil; Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

2Instituto de Medicina Integral Prof. Fernando Figueira (IMIP), Recife, Brazil; Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

3Harvard Medical School, Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA



The involvement of children in clinical research is inevitable if major breakthroughs are to be achieved and healthcare improved. However, children are a most vulnerable population and require special protections since they are less able to express their needs or defend their interests. To encourage pediatric research, studies to be conducted responsibly, an extensive ethical debate has unfolded over the past decade. This article analyzes specific ethical concerns surrounding pediatric research. The primary ethical principles as well as some persistent ethical dilemmas are discussed in order to evaluate how these issues are commonly addressed. The main objectives include developing a discussion on how these paradigmatic approaches work within the specific setting of pediatric research and how to use those approaches for this population for the safety and success of pediatric research.

Keywords: Pediatric research, children, research, ethics.