In Massachusetts, the legal age of consent is 18. Subjects younger than this are considered to be minors. Due to the potential for limited comprehension, special protection must be provided for minors.

Research involving minors requires both the informed written consent of a parent/guardian, as well as the suitably documented assent of the child, if the child is over 7 years old. The parental consent form should be identical to the templated consent forms provided for on this web site substituting "your child/my child" for you/I". A template for the child assent form is also provided.

Investigators are advised to encourage minors to ask questions, and to answer all questions (even if they seem "irrelevant").

A more detailed description of considerations pertaining to minors is provided in federal guidelines (45 CFR 46, Subpart D).