Research in children. A report of the Ethics Working Group of the CESP

Eur J Pediatr. 2002 Jan;161(1):1-5. doi: 10.1007/s00431-001-0855-y.


Research is essential for the improvement of care in patients, including children and incapacitated persons of whom children form a special group. Inclusion of an individual in research requires informed consent. As informed consent is impossible in children, they might be excluded from studies. Research in children, however, is needed to improve health care in this group. In this paper we discuss the pros and cons regarding research in children.

Conclusion: research in children is acceptable if it is necessary to promote the health of the population represented and cannot be performed on legally competent persons instead.

Publication types

  • Guideline
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Ethics Committees, Research / standards*
  • Ethics, Medical*
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent*
  • Patient Selection
  • Research Design / standards
  • Risk Assessment