Nuremberg Code
Date Effective From:August 1947 view text
Overview:
THE NUREMBERG CODE
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, over-reaching, 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, before the acceptance of an affirmative decision by the experimental
subject, there should be made known to him the nature, duration, and purpose of the experiment;
the method and means by which it is to be conducted; all inconveniences and hazards reasonably
to be expected; and the effects upon his health or person, which may possibly come from his
participation in the experiment.
The duty and responsibility for ascertaining the quality of the consent rests upon each
individual who initiates, directs or engages in the experiment. It is a personal duty and
responsibility which may not be delegated to another with impunity.

2. The experiment should be such as to yield fruitful results for the good of society,
unprocurable by other methods or means of study, and not random and unnecessary in nature.

3. The experiment should be so designed and based on the results of animal experimentation and a knowledge of the natural history of the disease or other problem under study, that the
anticipated results will justify the performance of the experiment.
4. The experiment should be so conducted as to avoid all unnecessary physical and mental
suffering and injury.

5. No experiment should be conducted, where there is an a priori reason to believe that
death or disabling injury will occur; except, perhaps, in those experiments where the
experimental physicians also serve as subjects.

6. The degree of risk to be taken should never exceed that determined by the humanitarian
importance of the problem to be solved by the experiment.

7. Proper preparations should be made and adequate facilities provided to protect the
experimental subject against even remote possibilities of injury, disability, or death.

8. The experiment should be conducted only by scientifically qualified persons. The highest
degree of skill and care should be required through all stages of the experiment of those who
conduct or engage in the experiment.

9. During the course of the experiment, the human subject should be at liberty to bring the
experiment to an end, if he has reached the physical or mental state, where continuation of the
experiment seemed to him to be impossible.

10. During the course of the experiment, the scientist in charge must be prepared to terminate
the experiment at any stage, if he has probable cause to believe, in the exercise of the good faith,
superior skill and careful judgement required of him, that a continuation of the experiment is
likely to result in injury, disability, or death to the experimental subject.
["Trials of War Criminals before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals under Control Council Law

No. 10", Vol. 2, pp. 181-182. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1949.] as stated by https://history.nih.gov/research/downloads/nuremberg.pdf

http://broughttolife.sciencemuseum.org.uk/broughttolife/techniques/nurembergcode states that
"The Nuremberg Code was introduced in August 1947, after the Nuremberg trials. In these trials, Nazi doctors were convicted of the crimes committed during human experiments on concentration camp prisoners. It attempted to give clear rules about what was legal and what was not when conducting human experiments.

The code consists of ten points. The first and most important is that anyone participating in an experiment must give informed consent. This means nobody can be forced to participate in human experiments. All participants must understand the potential risks.

The code also gives rules for running the experiments. For example, participants can leave the experiment if they want. Doctors must stop the experiment if they realise it can harm the patient. Also, no experiment can be made where the risks outweigh the benefits that can be had from it."
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