For the past couple of decades medical research has been one of the moving forces of the whole industry, and it is quite easy to understand why. No new treatment can be accepted without it being clinically tried on volunteers. But what if a drug must be tested on children? A question of children involvement in clinical trials is essential for the benefit of all children, as it gives an opportunity to propose innovations in healthcare capable to substantially improve their health andquality of life. Moreover, now is the exact time when science has reached alevelthat has never been greaterto develop better methods of preventing and treating diseases. Many scientists support a point that medical trials with children should be continued, encouraged, but with taking into account ethical manners.
However, it should be mentioned that ethical consideration is never only black or white, but is a mix of two. Basin on these several ethical concerns of clinical research in children should be taken into consideration:
- Medical trials should be carried out in children only if the needed information can be recoveredby research in adults
- Scientists must consider child’s medical history, all possiblepsychological, emotional and social results of the conducted research
- Researchers must have either child’s or parental consent to take part in the trials
- If a participating child becomes in any waydisturbed by a research, this must be accepted as a valid refusal
Current ethical principles for clinical research have evolved greatly over the past couple decades, and with it came a certain number of regulations that must be followed when conducting clinical research in children. These regulations include:
- Obligatory consensus needed to conduct a research in children
- Some methodological challenges
- Expenses for the development of new drugs
- Legal enforcement for passing the pediatric drugs
Some problems will always be present in such a complicated process as medical trials in children.There are several conditions that make studying of the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment impossible without children involved in the research. For instance, prematurity and many of its sequela occur only in children, thus, making studies in children needed. Another example is the radiation therapy that is capable of disrupting a normal development of tissue in children.
Field, Marilyn J, and Richard E. Behrman. Ethical Conduct of Clinical Research Involving Children. Washington, D.C: National Academies Press, 2004. Web.<http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK25557/>.
Medical Research Council. Medical research involving children. London, UK N.p., 2004. Web.<http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/optom/resources/Medical%20research%20involving%20children.pdf>.