Announcement: Ethics of Pediatric Research Workshop


Of all types of research involving human subjects, research on children is the one which has undergone the most profound evolution: from the initial banning to prevent any exploitation of vulnerable subjects, to the widespread recognition of the need for this research in order to grant children treatments and drugs that have been specifically tested for that population.

As a consequence of the moral and epistemological justification of pediatric research, the number of studies involving children is rapidly increasing all around the world.

This phenomenon requires however the refinement of the traditional moral requirements of biomedical research (especially informed consent and risk assessment) in order to adapt them to the specific characteristics of children.

This challenge must be taken up by all people involved in pediatric research (especially members of Research Ethics Committees) who wish to promote excellence in research while granting children the necessary protection, avoiding in particular the risk that economical pressure compromise the moral and scientific soundness of the studies.


Contents of the course include: (1) economical and social pressure on international biomedical research involving children; (2) the evolution of the debate on pediatric research; (3) the scientific justification of pediatric research; (4) methodological and ethical requirements of pediatric research; (5) the standard of minimal risk in pediatric research; (6) ethical and legal considerations on consent and assent in pediatric research; (7) guidelines on pediatric research; (8) ethical and social issues in vaccine research; (9) ethical issues in using databases and population registers.

As to the methods, the course will combine lectures, group discussions and workshops.

All course activities and materials will be in English.


To see the detailed programme, click here.


The course should be of interest for:

  • health professionals working with children;
  • children’s health investigators;
  • members of Research Ethics Committees (or IRBs);
  • members of Research Institutions;
  • government policy makers and legislators.


The course fee is € 600 for registration until March 31, 2013 and € 700 for registration from April 1 to May 6, 2013. The fee includes tuition and course materials, as well as refreshments, three lunches and a dinner. Detailed information on registration and payment will be available at

Participants are expected to make their own travel and accommodation arrangements. Please visit under Intensive Courses for information.

Time: May 13 – 15, 2013 – Padova, Italy


Silvia Tusino

Organised by: Department of Philosophy, Sociology, Education and Applied Psychology andDepartment of Woman and Child Health, University of Padova, Italy


Scientific coordinator:

Corrado Viafora, University of Padova, Italy

Course Coordinators:

Marina Cuttini, “Bambin Gesù” Hospital, Roma, Italy

Carlo Giaquinto, University of Padova, Italy

Mariassunta Piccinni, University of Padova, Italy

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