Welcome to Children's Hospital Boston's interactive parents' guide to medical research. This presentation is designed for parents who are considering allowing their child to participate in a medical research study. In using the word "parents," we also include legal guardians who are responsible for making decisions on behalf of a child.
As a parent, you play a vital role in protecting your child's interests and want to make the decision that's right for your child. As you make this decision, you may have a number of questions, such as:
* What IS medical research?
* How is research different from the medical treatment my child receives?
* What are the possible benefits - and risks - involved in research?
Perhaps most important, you may be wondering:
* I know it's my decision to make - along with my child, if appropriate - but how do I decide if I should let my child participate?
In the next few minutes, we will present information on these, and other, topics. We hope to help you think about what questions are most important to you, your child, and your family. Later on, you'll be able to print out a list of sample questions and questions of your own. You can bring these questions with you when you meet to discuss the specific trial your child may be in.
This presentation will not discuss any specific research studies. You'll learn the details of the study your child may be in when you talk to the investigator or other members of the research team. At that time, you can also find out who to contact if you have more questions, and how much time you'll have to make your decision.
For today, we'll begin by talking about medical research basics. Then we'll take a deeper look into the research process. Finally, we'll discuss how to decide about YOUR child and medical research.