Author Affiliation: Center for the Study of Medical Ethics and Humanities, Departments of Medicine and Philosophy, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC. Dr Sugarman is now with the Phoebe R. Berman Bioethics Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md.
There are multiple reasons to mandate the inclusion of children in clinical
research, yet concomitant ethical tensions related to this research must be
satisfied. In simple terms, for medical practice to be based on sound evidence,
and for all children to receive optimal medical care, research that includes
children is vital.1- 3 However,
as a group, children are inherently vulnerable in several respects and the
ethical justification for this research rests on thin ice. Consequently, there
must be careful scientific and ethical sanction before moving forward with
proposed research with children.
Sugarman J. Determining the Appropriateness of Including Children in Clinical ResearchHow Thick Is the Ice?. JAMA. 2004;291(4):494-496. doi:10.1001/jama.291.4.494