Historical Overview


3. Nuremberg Code

The Nuremberg trials in 1946 brought the issue of inhuman treatment of some individuals included in 'research' to the attention of the public. In one of the subsequent trials, twenty-three Nazi doctors and administrators were held responsible for the deaths of thousands of concentration camp prisoners who died during and after horrific experiments. The judges' verdict in 1947 included a section entitled 'Permissible Medical Experiments' which described ten principles to be followed in conducting research on humans. Known today as the 'Code of Nuremberg', it states as its first principle that 'the voluntary consent of the human participant is absolutely essential'.

Please take a few minutes to read the Nuremberg Code, Available at:Ethical Codes & Research Standards | HHS.gov