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Dissent about assent in paediatric research
  1. Dominic Wilkinson
  1. Correspondence to Dr Dominic Wilkinson, Robinson Institute, University of Adelaide, North Adelaide 5006, South Australia, Australia; dominic.wilkinson{at}adelaide.edu.au

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In an article published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, paediatric intensivist Paul Baines criticises the conceptual and ethical basis for an assent requirement in paediatric research.1 Existing international research guidelines stipulate that children who cannot competently consent to research should ‘assent’ to their participation. However, Baines finds existing descriptions of assent both inadequate and contradictory. The guidelines also fail to provide a clear rationale …

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