Re-contact Following Withdrawal of Minors from Research

  • Dimitri Patrinos Centre of Genomics and Policy, Department of Human Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Canada https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8696-8244
  • Bartha Maria Knoppers Centre of Genomics and Policy, Department of Human Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Canada https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7004-2722
  • Erika Kleiderman Centre of Genomics and Policy, Department of Human Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Canada https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0242-2296
  • Noriyeh Rahbari Centre for Child Development and Mental Health & Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Jewish General Hospital, Montréal, Canada
  • David P. Laplante Centre for Child Development and Mental Health & Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Jewish General Hospital, Montréal, Canada
  • Ashley Wazana Centre for Child Development and Mental Health & Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Jewish General Hospital, Montréal, Canada
Keywords: Re-contact, Re-consent, Minors, Consent, Assent, Research, Ethics

Abstract

Re-contacting minors enrolled in research upon their reaching the age of majority or maturity to seek their autonomous consent to continue their participation is considered an ethical requirement. This issue has generally been studied in the context of minors who are actively involved in the research. However, what becomes of this issue when the minor has been withdrawn from the research or has been lost to follow-up? May researchers re-contact the minor at the age of majority or maturity under these circumstances to seek the consent of the minor to re-join the research? In this paper, we explore the ethical permissibility of recontacting minors whose participation in research has ended, once they have reached the age of majority or maturity. In particular, we identify scenarios in which the participation of a minor in a research project may end and discuss factors that can help determine such an ethical permissibility. Finally, we discuss the practical and ethical challenges of re-contact and present re-consent models that may be used by researchers.

Published
2022-03-01
How to Cite
[1]
Patrinos D, Knoppers BM, Kleiderman E, Rahbari N, Laplante DP, Wazana A. Re-contact Following Withdrawal of Minors from Research. Can. J. Bioeth. 2022;5:45-53. https://doi.org/10.7202/1087202ar.
Section
Articles