THE NUREMBERG CODE
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The experiment should be so conducted as to avoid all unnecessary physical and mental
suffering and injury.
- 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. continue reading…
[“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.