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The Ethics of Pediatric Research$
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David Wendler

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199730087

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199730087.001.0001

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Evaluating the Worry

Evaluating the Worry

(p.47) Three Evaluating the Worry
The Ethics of Pediatric Research

David S. Wendler

Oxford University Press

The chapter begins with Paul Ramsey's argument which offers the most prominent and persuasive argument against nonbeneficial pediatric research. Ramsey argues that nonbeneficial pediatric research is necessarily unethical because it involves exploitation, exposing those who cannot consent to risks for the benefit of others. To evaluate this argument it is necessary to consider the importance of informed consent, when is it necessary and why. The chapter then considers a number of prominent views which hold, effectively, that we do not need a justification for nonbeneficial pediatric research because such research does not raise serious ethical concern in the first place. Commentators offer a number of arguments for this view, citing the fact that the risks of most nonbeneficial pediatric research studies are low or children would consent to it if they could consent.

Keywords:   minimal risk, presumed consent, incompetence, risks of daily life, routine examinations

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