Health data: when children reach the age of consent

Health data: when children reach the age of consen
World View
Jillian Hastings Ward
Nature Medicine, 6 January 2022
Open Access
Parents give consent for their children’s health data to be used in research, but what happens when the children reach adulthood, and how can researchers keep families involved in the meantime? COVID-19 vaccinations for teenagers have been in the news, which raises questions about parental influence over the decision of children to get vaccinated — or not. In some countries, including the UK, children under the age of 16 can give consent for medical treatment once they are deemed able to fully appreciate what is involved (sometimes known as ‘Gillick competence’). This is of growing importance for children whose parents have signed them up for genetic research and other studies that use their health data. When and how do children get a say in what happens to their health data?..

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