Abstract and Keywords
Progress in the ability to combat pediatric neurological disease and in the understanding of the development of human cognition is of unchallengeable importance. This article discusses relevant legal and ethical research frameworks in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. These norms play a prominent role in establishing standards for the conduct of pediatric research projects in their respective jurisdictions. It gives a brief overview of pediatric neuroimaging research risks since much of the legal and ethical analysis draws upon this information. This is followed by an examination of the importance of decisional-capacity determinations for prospective minor participants. It deals with considerations applicable to the involvement of incompetent minors in neuroimaging research, i.e. limitations on surrogate consent, establishing the need for the inclusion of incompetent minor participants, restrictions on risk exposure, and the roles of assent and dissent. A discussion of incidental findings (IFs), respect for minors' privacy, and interpretation of research images is mentioned.
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