Ethical Issues in Research with Medically Ill Children Research Paper

Ethical Issues in Research with Medically Ill Children
An in-depth examination of the ethical issues involved in conducting research with medically ill children as participants.
# 153838 | 6,665 words | 26 sources | APA | 2012 | US
Published on Mar 06, 2014 in Medical and Health (General) , Ethics (General)

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The paper discusses involving this population in research, the permissible level of risk, the issues of consent and assent, and the problem of confidentiality, both before and during the research study. The paper explores the ethical ramifications of these issues and their relevance to researchers. Despite these issues, this author maintains that the benefits of including this population in research outweigh the consequences of leaving them out.

Involving Children in Research
Level of Risk in Research
Issues of Consent and Assent

From the Paper:

"In past decades, children who had been diagnosed with certain diseases often did not survive. Now, however, medical advances have caused a change. Childhood disease has changed from acute to chronic and from incurable to curable or palliative (Eiser & Morse, 2001). This shift has also changed the make-up of hospital units, which now consist of more chronically ill children and adolescents than those who are acutely ill (Ivan & Glazer, 1994). Overall, the current rate of children suffering from chronic illness is 10-20% (Janse, Sinnema, Uiterwaal, Kimpen, & Gemke, 2008). Additionally, acute diseases that could not be cured now have much higher cure rates. For example, the five-year survival rate when considering all childhood cancers was 58.1% in 1975-1977. However, in 1996-2003, the survival rate had increased to 79.6%. These increases are attributed to advances in treatment that have resulted in a cure or long-term remission for several types of cancers. Unfortunately, the occurrence rates of cancer have increased as well (National Cancer Institute, 2011).
"Because of the increase in children who have any illness and the variety of new treatments developed to treat such illnesses, researchers are interested in including these children in clinical trials and research projects. While including children with a medical illness in research has benefits for both the children and the researchers, one must also consider what harms might come to these children as a result of participation."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Abramovitch, R.F.J., Thoden, K., Nikolich, C. (1991). Children's capacity to consent to participation in psychological research: Empirical findings. Child Developoment, 62, 1100-1109.
  • Aman, M.G. & Farmer, C.A. (2008). Psychotropic medication research in children and adolescents: Empirical findings and ethical obligations. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics: An International Journal, 3(3), 39-47.
  • American Psychological Association. (2002). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. American Psychologist, 57, 1060-1073.
  • Bersoff, D.N. (2008). Academia: research, teaching, and supervision. In D.N. Bersoff (Ed.), Ethical Conflicts in Psychology (pp. 385-386). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.
  • Buchwald, D., Delmar, C., & Sanchez-Laursen. (2011). Ethical dilemmas in conducting research with children. International Journal for Human Caring, 15(2), 28-34.

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

Ethical Issues in Research with Medically Ill Children (2014, March 06) Retrieved August 18, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Ethical Issues in Research with Medically Ill Children" 06 March 2014. Web. 18 August. 2022. <>