The Therapeutic Misconception: A Threat to Valid Parental Consent for Paediatric Neuroimaging Research

15(3) Accountability in Research 133, 2008

14 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2012

See all articles by Michael Hadskis

Michael Hadskis

Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law

Nuala Kenny

Dalhousie University

Jocelyn Downie

Schulich School of Law & Faculty of Medicine

Matthias Schmidt

Dalhousie University - Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiology

Ryan D'Arcy

Dalhousie University

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

Neuroimaging research has brought major advances to child health and well-being. However, because of the vulnerabilities associated with neurological and developmental conditions, the parental need for hope, and the expectation of parents that new medical advances can benefit their child, pediatric neuroimaging research presents significant challenges to the general problem of consent in the context of research involving children. A particular challenge in this domain is created by the presence of therapeutic misconception on the part of parents and other key research stakeholders. This article reviews the concept of therapeutic misconception and its role in pediatric neuroimaging research. It argues that this misconception can compromise consent given by parents for the involvement of their children in research as healthy controls or as persons with neurological and developmental conditions. The article further contends that therapeutic misconception can undermine the research ethics review process for proposed and ongoing neuroimaging studies. Against this backdrop, the article concludes with recommendations for mitigating the effects of therapeutic misconception in pediatric neuroimaging research.

Keywords: consent, institutional review boards, pediatric neuroimaging, regulation of research, research ethics, therapeutic misconception

Suggested Citation

Hadskis, Michael and Kenny, Nuala and Downie, Jocelyn and Schmidt, Matthias and D'Arcy, Ryan, The Therapeutic Misconception: A Threat to Valid Parental Consent for Paediatric Neuroimaging Research (2008). 15(3) Accountability in Research 133, 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2109360

Michael Hadskis

Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law ( email )

6061 University Avenue
6061 University Ave
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4H9
Canada

Nuala Kenny

Dalhousie University ( email )

6225 University Avenue
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4H7
Canada

Jocelyn Downie (Contact Author)

Schulich School of Law & Faculty of Medicine ( email )

Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4H9
Canada

Matthias Schmidt

Dalhousie University - Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiology ( email )

1278 Tower Road
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 2Y9
Canada

Ryan D'Arcy

Dalhousie University ( email )

6225 University Avenue
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4H7
Canada

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