Nuremberg Code (1947)

Nuremberg Trial

The Nuremberg Code is a set of research ethics principles for human experimentation set as a result of the subsequent Nuremberg Trials at the end of the Second World War.

 

  • Directives for Human Experimentation (National Institutes of Health)
    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.

  • The Nuremberg Code: USHMM note (US Holocaust Memorial Museum)
    On August 19, 1947, the judges of the American military tribunal in the case of the USA vs. Karl Brandt et. al. delivered their verdict. Before announcing the guilt or innocence of each defendant, they confronted the difficult question of medical experimentation on human beings. Several German doctors had argued in their own defense that their experiments differed little from previous American or German ones. Furthermore they showed that no international law or informal statement differentiated between legal and illegal human experimentation.

  • The Deadly Corruption of Clinical Trials (Mother Jones)
    It's not easy to work up a good feeling about the institution that destroyed your life, which may be why Mary Weiss initially seemed a little reluctant to meet me. "You can understand my hesitation to look other than with suspicion at anyone associated with the University of Minnesota," Mary wrote to me in an email. In 2003, Mary's 26-year-old son, Dan, was enrolled against her wishes in a psychiatric drug study at the University of Minnesota, where I teach medical ethics.