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Consent to neonatal research
I am writing this during the Christmas holidays, and one of the papers in this issue brings to mind the extraordinary serenity and peace of mind with which Joseph and Mary dealt with the strange happenings surrounding the birth of their first son, baby Jesus, who according to the Bible was a N=1 experiment. The paper by Nathan et al studies parental decision-making in relation to neonatal research (see page 106). They used the MacArthur competence assessment tool for clinical research (MacCAT-CR) to assess parental competence in parents of neonates undergoing cardiac surgery. The parents were asked for permission to enrol the neonates in one of three non-therapeutic studies before the surgery. The study shows that parents in this situation in general had …
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