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Clinical Trials: The Dilemma! Facts for Kids


Clinical trials are an important way to make better medicine and create better treatments, but are they safe and should children get to choose to go on them? Bene and Mal are looking at clinical trials in their series Demanding Dilemmas!


What are clinical trials?

It’s very likely that you have had some medicine – maybe on a spoon or as a tablet. It’s also quite possible that you’ve had treatment in a hospital or surgery for an illness or injury.

Clinical trials are like tests to make better medicines and create better treatments. All people – adults and children, can help by being tested on.

It might be a bit of a weird thought to be tested on, but the clinical trials are often – well, pretty boring. It could involve answering some questions in general about how you’re feeling. Other tests might involve things like blood tests or scans – or even trying new medicines out.


The whole purpose of clinical trials is to make treatments better. Knowledge they gain could help improve the health care of adults and children.


However, since these are tests there are naturally going to be risks.Who can say for sure what would happen? If you’re thinking of taking part in a trial make sure you ask about the risks!

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Child vs Parent!

When it comes to children in clinical trials there’s also a whole separate debate about who gets to decide. You see, the medicines and treatments that children get are often very different to those that adults receive, so of course they need to test medicines and treatments on children.

But what if the parent wants the kid to be part of the clinical trial but the kid isn’t keen? Or what if the kid wants to take part in the research but the parents say no?

So as you can see, it’s a demanding dilemma! What do you think? Let us know in the comment box below!

Remember, you can listen to Fun Kids on DAB Digital Radio in London and online across the UK! Click here to listen!

Want to see some demanding dilemmas right now? Click on one below…

Nuffield Council
Benny and Mal’s Demanding Dilemmas, with support from Nuffield Council on Bioethics. More details at

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