A copy of the historic Helsinki Declaration.
Adopted by the 18th World Medical Assembly Helsinki, Finland, June 1964
and amended by the 29th World Medical Assembly Tokyo, Japan, October, 1975
35th World Medical Assembly Venice, Italy, October 1983
and the 41st World Medical Assembly Hong Kong, September 1989
It is the mission of the physician to safeguard the health of the people. His or her knowledge and conscience are dedicated to the fulfillment of this mission.
The Declaration of Geneva of the World Medical Assembly binds the physician with the words: "The health of my patient will be my first consideration," and the International Code of Medical Ethics declares that, "A physician shall act only in the patient's interest when providing medical care which might have the effect of weakening the physical and mental condition of the patient."
The purpose of biomedical research involving human subjects must be to improve diagnostic, therapeutic and prophylactic procedures and the understanding of the aetiology and pathogenesis of disease.
In current medical practice most diagnostic, therapeutic or prophylactic procedures involve hazards. This applies especially to biomedical research.
Medical progress is based on research which ultimately must rest in part on experimentation involving human subjects.
In the field of biomedical research, a fundamental distinction must be recognized between medical research, in which the aim is essentially diagnostic or therapeutic for a patient, and medical research, the essential object of which is purely scientific and without implying direct diagnostic or therapeutic value to the person subjected to the research.
Special caution must be exercised in the conduct of research which may affect the environment, and the welfare of animals used for research must be respected.
Because it is essential that the results of laboratory experiments be applied to human beings to further scientific knowledge and to help suffering humanity, the World Medical Association has prepared the following recommendations as a guide to every physician in biomedical research involving human subjects. They should be kept under review in the future. It must be stressed that the standards as drafted are only a guide to physicians all over the world. Physicians are not relieved from criminal, civil and ethical responsibilities under the laws of their own countries.
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