Which role should children play in research decisions? Which are the responsibilities of the researchers who invite children and young people to take part in research? These are only two issues addressed by the report released by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, entitled “Children and clinical research: ethical issues” and available at this link.
The report looks at the ethics of involving children in research, and at the roles and responsibilities of children, parents/guardians, and professionals. Central to the report is the idea that, from a young age, children have a role in determining their own lives, and should be seen as active participants in research. Researchers should engage with children’s and parents’ views and experiences in the prioritisation, design and review of research, and through appropriate scrutiny and governance.
The report has been presented but also in a magazine format designed with the help of young people’s groups, and as a one page summary which includes a list of points to consider when carrying out research with children and young people. In addition, a short animation has been produces, again with the help of children and young people, which is also available on the Nuffield Council’s website.