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Ethical Research Involving Children

Can children be altruistic research subjects?

Spriggs, M. (2006). Can children be altruistic research subjects? The American Journal of Bioethics, 6(5), pp. 49-50.

Extract from Introduction: The idea of altruism in the consent process in pediatric research seems fraught with difficulties. Questions about the value and valdiity of a competent adult’s consent are complex and difficult. These issues in relation to children are more complex still – and even more so in the context of research. The idea of one person volunteering another person is controversial. In light of this complexity, how can we make sense of the idea of ‘altruism’ in the informed consent process for research with child subjects? © Taylor & Francis, reprinted by special permission of Taylor & Francis Group (

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