One of the ethical issues raised by Carrier, Banayan, Boley, and Karnik (2017) was the query of whether research on child medication should be conducted on minors or decisional adults. According to the article, the law suggests that it is essential to include only adult individuals in such studies whenever possible. Nevertheless, various concerns arise regarding this critical issue. For instance, one of the daunting questions is whether it is, in fact, reasonable and rational from both the scientific and ethical points of view to prescribe medication to children that were tested on the adult population (Tansey, 2014).
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The authors of the article state that “it appears unethical to develop or market psychotropic drugs for children that are not tested on children at any point in the process” (Carrier et al., 2017, p. 65). Therefore, the fundamental controversy lies in the fact that this kind of research is needed to prescribe medication correctly; however, it is unethical to test this type of drugs on an underage individual who cannot make health-related decisions him or herself but requires consent from the side of the third party (Cohen, 2013).
Another concern is related to the financial aspect. In particular, guardian consent is needed when a study requires the participation of an underage person, which implies additional financial expenses (Mulberg, Murphy, Dunne, & Mathis, 2013). In terms of regulatory and legal issues, formal consent is not always enough to carry out a profound study because the research value might not be fully comprehended by a child (Bonk, 2014).
Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that a child cannot make an independent and informed decision in such settings, and this form of consent will be involuntary, which is inappropriate from the legal point of view (Rosier, Martens, & Thomas, 2014). Thus, it can be assumed that despite the urgent need for child researches on psychotropic drugs and their potential benefit for society, it is impossible to conduct them without the emergence of legal, ethical, financial, and other concerns, which also complicates their further prescription.
Bonk, R. (2014). Medical writing in drug development. New York, NY: Routledge. Web.
Carrier, F., Banayan, D., Boley, R., & Karnik, N. (2017). Ethical challenges in developing drugs for psychiatric disorders. Progress in Neurobiology, 152, 58-69. Web.
Cohen, G. (Ed.). (2013). The globalization of health care. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Web.
Mulberg, A., Murphy, D., Dunne, J., & Mathis, L. (2013). Pediatric drug development (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. Web.
Rosier, J., Martens, M., & Thomas, J. (2014). Global new drug development. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. Web.
Tansey, M. (2014). Intelligent drug development. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Web.