Leah Bressler

Barbara Lockart, pediatric NP and coordinator for the fertility preservation program at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago discussed the process of assent and consent in fertility preservation in children. She started off reviewing the history of human rights violations and our obligation to protect the most vulnerable populations, which certainly extends to pediatric patients. She went on to highlight some of the difficulties intrinsic to educating patients, evidenced by the shocking statistic that just under 1/3 of families enrolling in phase 1 research studies comprehend the purpose of the study. Attendees learned that the goal of assent is to protect the child and were reminded that even in the case of adolescent patients, the patient should be permitted to decide who is present for care discussions. Recommendations included a tiered procedure for assent and consent in which patients and families are first educated and counseled by a healthcare provider then consent/assented to fertility preservation specifically and then consent/assented by the specific provider who will be performing any fertility preservation procedure(s).

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