With the increasing development of technology more and more health research is being done. Although many of the research is beneficial, much of it also causes ethical issues. One of the major cases currently being discussed is the effects of researching vaccines on children.
Today in the medical world, nothing can be done without informed consent. Informed consent is defined as a person knowingly and intelligently, an in a clear and manifest way, gives consent (Fouka &Mantzorou, 2011, pg. 2). Informed consent is required before blood administration, procedures and surgery as well as many other things. In the case of the pediatric population they are unable to be informed consenters so this makes them a vulnerable population ( Fouka, et al. 2011 pg.7). When it comes to the topic of vaccines, children are usually the subject of the study. The different opinions about their participation in research can be attributed to their inability to give an informed consent and to their need for further protection and sensitivity from the researcher as they are in a greater risk of being deceived, threatened or forced to participate (Fouka, et al. 2011, pg. 7). The problem that many researchers run into is that they are forced to use children because most disease are developed in the pediatric year, but children also experience more adverse effects than adults leading to research controversy (Kulkarni, 2013 para 2). However, in order to have the best practice you need evidence based practice, which requires valid research (Laureated Education, 2012).
Conducting research differently
Researcher who have used children in their research may have not had any other option. Althoug, better practice may to be to involve the children in the research process. They can do this by not only explaining the process and dangers to the parents, but also explaining it to the children. In the case of a child, every effort should be made to explain to him/her also, in language that is understandable to the child, what the participation means, as regards to potential risks (discomfort, time spent, etc) and benefits. The investigators should document the childs assent (Kulkarni, 2013 para 23). Including the child in the informed consent process makes the study more ethical as well as making sure the child is not being threatened or forced into anything. Including the child in the process also helps make it less scary for them. It is important that the child understand what is going on and it be explained to the at their level.
Evidence Based Practice
Although there are many controversies associated with research, it is necessary to find the best practice. In the nursing profession, evidence based practice is essential in knowing what is the best product (Laureate Education, 2012h).
Fouka, G., &Mantzorou, M. (2011). What are the major ethical issues in conducting research? Is there a conflict between the research ethics and the nature of nursing? Health Science Journal
Kulkarni, P. (2013). Current topics in research ethics in vaccine studies. Perspectives in Clinical Research, 4(1), 80. doi:10.4103/2229-3485.106398
Laureate Education (Producer). (2012h). Overview of evidence-based practice. Baltimore, MD:Author