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The fixed age rule:
Young people, consent and research ethics

by Judith Bessant

Australia is in the process of producing new national guidelines for ethical conduct in research involving humans; however, the draft guidelines do little to remove the restrictions on young people participating in research without parental consent. Judith Bessant argues that young people are being denied their right to participate in research, and researchers are missing out on opportunities to conduct important research on young people, because of outdated conventions concerning the capability of young people to make decisions regarding their participation in research.