Robert W Malone MD, MS
“The Declaration of Helsinki is a set of ethical principles regarding human experimentation developed originally in 1964 for the medical community by the World Medical Association. It is widely regarded as the cornerstone document on human research ethics (Wiki).”
The Declaration of Helsinki is a statement outlining the ethical principles for medical research involving human subjects. It was written and adopted by the 18th Assembly of the World Medical Association in Helsinki, Finland, 1964. Ten of the original principles were first outlined in the Nuremberg Code of Conduct of 1947. Other elements were added from the Declaration of Geneva of 1948. The declaration of Helsinki was a response to the public outcry to the thalidomide scandal.
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the use of thalidomide in 46 countries by women who were pregnant or who subsequently became pregnant resulted in the “biggest man-made medical disaster ever,” with more than 10,000 children born with a range of severe deformities, such as phocomelia, as well as thousands of miscarriages (Wiki).
The Declaration of Helsinki has been amended by general assemblies of the association nine times, with the last amendment being in 2013. These principles provide an ethical foundation that is used by those in medical research involving human subjects.
Just prior to the pandemic, the World Medical Association tried to update the declaration again. The circulation of the draft created a large uproar. It was interpreted as “an attempt to dilute the ethical principles of the document and to undermine protection of participants in medical research, particularly those in developing countries (Lancet).”
The Declaration of Helsinki is often cited, but rarely quoted. Below is the full declaration.