Do you have the facts about teen pregnancy?
Scientific and Ethical Review Group Reproductive health involving adolescents Definitions Adolescents are individuals who are between childhood and adulthood, in the process of reaching sexual maturity. WHO defines the adolescent age range as the second decade of life, years.
However, it must be recognized that adolescence is a combination of physical, psychological and social changes which are culturally based. This is an important issue when consent and the involvement of parents and guardians is considered since the degree of autonomy of decision making is considerably varied across cultures and stages of adolescence.
Statement of the problem The justification for conducting research on reproductive health in adolescents is the same as that for any biomedical or behavioural research: Therefore, research on reproductive health involving adolescents should be undertaken in order to enhance scientific knowledge specific to these individuals.
The omission of such research can perpetuate inadequate understanding The issues of adolescent pregnancy the particular reproductive health needs of adolescents and result in failure to deliver adequate services to this group. Legal and Ethical Issues There are no clear ethical justifications for excluding from research adolescent subjects below the age of legal majority.
If there are reproductive health problems that are restricted to, or occur also in, adolescents which cannot be solved with existing knowledge, there is an ethical duty of beneficence and justice to conduct appropriate research to address these problems. Parents or guardians have legal and ethical responsibilities to provide dependent adolescents with preventive and therapeutic health care.
Sound research equips parents to discharge such legal and ethical responsibilities. Parents have the best interest of their children at heart, and therefore should have no reason to deny dependent adolescents participation in sound research that could improve preventive and therapeutic care.
In general, the law does not grant parents veto power over decisions of mature that is, competent adolescents who decide to participate in research on their reproductive health.
In such cases where adolescents are or are about to be sexually active, investigators commit no legal offence in undertaking research that promises a favourable benefit-risk ratio.
However, where the law specifically denies decision-making authority to mature or competent adolescents below a given age, that provision must be respected. Guidelines Before undertaking research involving adolescents, investigators must ensure: Among adolescents, younger subjects should not be enrolled when older adolescents are scientifically suitable for recruitment as research subjects.
When the specific objective of the research is to gain information about young adolescents, for example, about pregnancy or lactation in year-olds, then research involving this age group is ethically justified.
Unless specific legal provisions exist, consent to participate in research should be given by the adolescent alone. Capacity to consent is related to the nature and complexity of the research.
If adolescents are mature enough to understand the purpose of the proposed study and the involvement requested, then they are mature enough to consent.
Since the requirements for obtaining informed consent include the provision that subjects be capable of understanding the purpose, procedures, risks, benefits, and alternatives of the research, the participation of adolescents who satisfy this condition is ethically justified.
The ethical principle of confidentiality must be adhered to in research involving adolescents. Even when consent to the participation of adolescents is granted by parents or by both adolescents and their parents, confidentiality must be maintained.
Research on reproductive health, including contraception and abortion, involves sensitive issues about which adolescents have an interest in, and a right to, confidentiality being maintained.
For example, some adolescents may be at risk of physical or psychological harm if others learn that they are sexually active. Moreover, without ensuring confidentiality, some important research could not be carried out since adolescents may refuse to participate if they are told that information they reveal might be disclosed to others.
Institutions participating in research involving adolescents must be sensitive to the needs of adolescents and should have the appropriate staff and facilities to care for this population group. In circumstances where researchers believe they are obligated to report adolescent behaviour to any authorities, the adolescent subject must be made aware of the possibility of such reporting prior to their involvement in the research.Teen Pregnancy in the United States In , a total of , babies were born to women aged 15–19 years, for a birth rate of per 1, women in this age group.
This is another record low for U.S. teens and a drop of 8% from Many studies and programs have addressed the challenging issue of prevention of adolescent pregnancy.
1,,2,6,7,11,16,17,19,20 35–41 Because adolescent pregnancy is a multifaceted problem, it demands multidimensional solutions that should be tailored to the needs of individual communities. Legal and Ethical Issues There are no clear ethical justifications for excluding from research adolescent subjects below the age of legal majority.
If there are reproductive health problems that are restricted to, or occur also in, adolescents which cannot be solved with existing knowledge, there is an ethical duty of beneficence and justice to. * The teen pregnancy rate is the sum all live births, abortions, and miscarriages (or fetal losses) per 1, adolescent females ages in a given year.
Characteristics Associated with Adolescent Childbearing. Teen Pregnancy Issues and Challenges Home / Unplanned Pregnancy / Teen Pregnancy Issues and Challenges Let’s be honest – going through a teen pregnancy is probably not going to be easy. Adolescent pregnancy and parenthood are associated with social, health and financial costs to teen parents, families and states.
A teen birth can disrupt young people’s educational and career goals, affecting earning potential and future family finances.