Children and clinical research: ethical issues


Published 14/05/2015

CCR crop

Making research easier for everyone

Research needs to become an ordinary part of the National Health Service (NHS) in Britain. It shouldn’t be seen as something optional or unimportant. At the moment, it’s often hard for people working in the NHS to find the time they need either to do research themselves, or get involved in research ethics committees.

We think that:

  • NHS managers should encourage worthwhile research in their hospitals and clinics.
  • NHS managers, universities, and policy makers should make sure that members of research ethics committees have enough time in their working day to do this important job.

The general public, both adults and children, need to understand more about health research – both about how it’s carried out and why it’s important. Knowing more about research will make it easier for children, young people, and parents if they are ever invited to take part.

There are many ways in which this can be done – although no single easy way. For example:

  • Researchers and research organisations could do more to tell people what they do, through open days, events for children and young people, and well-designed webpages.
  • Schools, museums, youth clubs and other groups could offer opportunities to encourage people to learn more about research.

We think that:

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Medical Research should take the lead in finding the best ways of increasing everyone’s knowledge about research.