Ethics and Research with Children: A Case-Based Approach

By Eric Kodish | Go to book overview

8
Payments for Participation of Children in Research

Douglas S. Diekema


CASE DESCRIPTION

In order to determine how mucin quantity differs before the onset of infection and after onset of infection, the investigators propose to perform bronchoalveolar lavage in infants diagnosed with cystic fibrosis during the first month of life. Participation in this research will require a procedure called bronchoscopy that would not be otherwise clinically indicated. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid would be obtained from these infants at three time points: following diagnosis but before 6 weeks of age, at 6 months of age, and at 12 months of age. The mucin quantity in the fluid would be studied to determine its relationship to the onset of infection.

The investigators propose to reimburse parents for travel and parking, pay subjects $100 for each bronchoscopy completed plus another $50 for completing the entire series of three procedures (total $350 for completion of study), and pay parents of subjects $50 for each bronchoscopy visit completed and an additional $50 for completion of the entire series of three visits (total $200 for completion of study).

Providing payment to those who participate is common practice for research studies involving both children and adults. While there may be good reasons for providing payment for research participation, there are also reasons to be concerned about the practice, especially when the subjects are children. This chapter will examine the ethical implications of providing payment to children and their parents for participation in research. After a brief survey of current practices regarding payments to research participants, this chapter examines the distinct kinds of payments offered to research participants and their parents, evaluates the ethical considerations relevant to each kind of payment, and makes some final recommendations concerning the provision of payments for research involving children.

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