Informed consent, parental permission, and assent in pediatric practice. Committee on Bioethics

J Child Fam Nurs. Sep-Oct 1998;1(1):57-61.


The statement on informed consent, parental permission, and patient assent has a long and extraordinary history. The first draft of this document, prepared by William G. Bartholome, MD, was presented to the original American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Committee on Bioethics in 1985. Bill put his soul into the manuscript and has watched over it carefully ever since. Now, a decade later, those who have worked on its continued development and urged its adoption as Academy policy applaud its publication. No one is more gratified than its primary author and champion. Those who have had the privilege to know Dr. Bartholome share his sense of accomplishment, but cannot help but experience a cruel sense of irony. Just as the work Bill considers his most important contribution has become available for public appreciation, Dr. Bartholome suffers from a serious illness that threatens his life. Bill always wanted "the experience, perspective, and power of children" to be taken most seriously. Through the years of the statement's revisions and re-presentation within the Academy, Bill "had faith in the power of the text and the ideas it contained, ... that its time would come." The statement embodies Bill Bartholome's dedication to children. Throughout his career, he worked to make medicine and medical research safer and more friendly for children. The AAP and its Committee on Bioethics, on behalf of all our colleagues, extend heartfelt thanks to Dr. William G. Bartholome for helping us more fully appreciate that children are in the process of becoming, in his words, "intelligent, observant, capable, and responsible persons" who deserve our utmost respect.

Publication types

  • Guideline
  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Advocacy*
  • Ethics, Medical*
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent*
  • Parents*
  • Pediatrics*