Body matters: rethinking the ethical acceptability of non-beneficial clinical research with children

Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 18 (3):421-431 (2015)
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Abstract

The involvement of children in non-beneficial clinical research is extremely important for improving pediatric care, but its ethical acceptability is still disputed. Therefore, various pro-research justifications have been proposed throughout the years. The present essay aims at contributing to the on-going discussion surrounding children’s participation in non-beneficial clinical research. Building on Wendler’s ‘contribution to a valuable project’ justification, but going beyond a risk/benefit analysis, it articulates a pro-research argument which appeals to a phenomenological view on the body and vulnerability. It is claimed that children’s bodies are not mere physical objects, but body-subjects due to which children, as persons, can contribute to research that may hold no direct clinical benefit to them even before they can give informed consent.

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References found in this work

Oneself as Another.Paul Ricoeur - 1992 - University of Chicago Press.
The Absent Body.Drew Leder - 1990 - University of Chicago Press.
Autonomy and Trust in Bioethics.Onora O'Neill - 2002 - Cambridge University Press.

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