The Parent’s Dilemma: Pediatric Assent in Research

The Parent’s Dilemma: Pediatric Assent in Research
Gianna McMillan
Pediatrics Perspectives, 17 August 2022
Excerpt
Parents and their children rarely understand what it means “to consent” to participate in pediatric clinical research. This became clear during my 15 years as a patient advocate, when I facilitated hundreds of conversations about the implications of aggressive treatment of the very young and the existential crises faced by parents who made life-or death decisions for their children. In the United States, most children with cancer enter a clinical trial,1 and although parents understand enough of the scientific information to deliberate on the pros and cons of research, it is harder to grasp the subtleties of “consenting for” experimental studies, “giving permission to” the investigators, or “gaining assent from” the child. This lack of clarity leaves parents confused about the ethical weight and propriety of their decisions or unaware of any ethical significance at all…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s