The Ethical Obligations of Researchers in Protecting the Rights of Human Research Subjects

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Abstract

Post World War II trials of Nazi crimes against humanity also exposed the horrific and deadly experiments conducted by the Nazi physicians on prisoners in the concentration camps. These trials resulted in the adoption of the “Nuremberg Code” for medical research, which was codified and adopted by the 18th World Medical Association (WMA) General Assembly, Helsinki, Finland, in June 1964. The “Declaration of Helsinki,” as it became known, and its amendments and clarifications represent a universal standard for the conduct of research and human subject care. Assurance of scientific integrity, appropriateness and utility of research, and protection of human subjects are at the core of ethical principles to be upheld regardless of the geographic location where research is conducted.

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