Membership information 0800 225 677
Medicolegal advice 0800 014 780


Consent for minors should be obtained from a parent or guardian and (if the child is mature enough) the child concerned. If the research entails minimal risk or the likelihood of direct benefit for the child, the consent of one parent is sufficient. If there is a greater than minimal risk and is of no direct benefit to the child, the consent of both parents is required. If possible, assent of a child lacking the maturity to consent should also be obtained.

Only parents, legal guardians or a person authorised by law may consent to research on a child’s behalf. No other caregiver may legitimately act on a child’s behalf in this context.

Lastly, “A minor’s refusal to participate in research must be respected, ie such refusal settles the matter.”30