Ethical Standards: The Nuremberg Code Of Medical Ethics

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Research is an investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts. It has helped humans to understand, improve and develop new methods of health care, new theories or laws. However, many achievements made in research practice with human subjects violated the participants’ rights and dignity. Since there were no regulations in the past about using human subjects for research, many human lives were damaged or lost. In the 1960s and 1970s, a series of scandals concerning mistreatment of human subjects in research underlined the need to protect human participants in research (“Ethical and Policy Issues in Research”, 2001). Therefore, ethical norms were created in research. According to Resnik, “Ethics are the norms…show more content…
On December of 1946, an American military tribunal proceeds against German physicians who conducted medical experiments on thousands of concentration camp prisoners without consent, which in most cases resulted in disfigurement, permanent disability, or death (“Human Experiments in History”, n.d.). The experiment conducted during the Holocaust included attempts to genetically manipulate twins, malaria experiments, immunization experiments, exposure to chemical gasses and diseases, freezing experiments, among other cruel experiments. The crimes were formed as part of the Nuremberg Trial and in 1948 it led to the development of the Nuremberg Code of medical ethics. The code states that “The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential,” and that the benefits of research must overweight the risks (Shuster, 1997). Additionally, the code states that experiments will avoid all unnecessary physical and mental suffering and injury (Shuster, 1997). Nuremberg code is an important milestone in the history of ethics in medical research since it was the first international document which advocated informed consent and voluntary participants in studies (Research & Economic Development,

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