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J Empir Res Hum Res Ethics. 2009 Mar;4(1):3-16. doi: 10.1525/jer.2009.4.1.3.

Pediatric assent for a study of antiretroviral therapy dosing for children in Western Kenya: a case study in international research collaboration.

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Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.


MULTINATIONAL COLLABORATORS IN health research face particular ethical challenges when conducting studies involving vulnerable populations such as children. We use an example from our first attempt to implement pediatric assent in the context of a longstanding research and clinical partnership between Kenyan and American medical schools to highlight the ethical and procedural issues related to pediatric assent that must be considered for multinational, pediatric studies. We consider relevant domestic, professional, and international guidelines for assent in pediatric research subjects, and we discuss the particular ethical challenges related to pediatric assent in the Kenyan context. Finally, we propose a way forward for approaching pediatric assent within our collaborative research program in Kenya that may apply to other multinational research partnerships.

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