The Nuremberg Code (1947)

 

 

BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL No 7070 Volume 313: Page 1448,
7 December 1996.

Introduction

The judgment by the war crimes tribunal at Nuremberg laid down 10 standards to which physicians must conform when carrying out experiments on human subjects in a new code that is now accepted worldwide.

This judgment established a new standard of ethical medical behaviour for the post World War II human rights era. Amongst other requirements, this document enunciates the requirement of voluntary informed consent of the human subject. The principle of voluntary informed consent protects the right of the individual to control
his own body.

This code also recognizes that the risk must be weighed against the expected benefit, and that unnecessary pain and suffering must be avoided.

This code recognizes that doctors should avoid actions that injure human patients.
The principles established by this code for medical practice now have been extended into general codes of medical ethics.

 

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