Issues in Medical Research Ethics

By Jürgen Boomgaarden; Pekka Louhiala et al. | Go to book overview
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Appendices

(1) The Nuremberg Code
Front 'Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals Under Control Council Law No. 10', Vol. 2, Nuremberg, October 1946—April 1949. (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1949). pp 181–182.The great weight of the evidence before us is to the effect that certain types of medical experiments on human beings, when kept within reasonably well-defined bounds, conform to the ethics of the medical profession generally. The protagonists of the practice of human experimentation justify their views on the basis that such experiments yield results for the good of society that are unprocurable by other methods or means of study. All agree, however, that certain basic principles must be observed in order to satisfy moral, ethical and legal concepts.
1. The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential. This means that the person involved should have legal capacity to give consent; should be so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, overreaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion; and should have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved as to enable him to make an understanding and enlightened decision. This latter element requires that

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