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The "Declaration of Helsinki" by the World Medical Association is a "guide to doctors everywhere" who are engaged in clinical research, said Harry S. Gear, MD, WMA secretary-general.
Recommendations in the declaration, Gear said, "are offered to all medical men and their colleagues in other disciplines, who undertake scientific and clinical investigations involving human beings.
The Declaration of Helsinki is now placed alongside such previous profound documents on professional conduct as the modern form of the Hippocratic Oath, known as the 'Declaration of Geneva' and the 'International Code of Medical Ethics.' "
The Declaration of Helsinki was adopted by the 18th World Medical Assembly last June in Helsinki, Finland. Work was started on it following World War II, Gear said.
Discussions were long due to difficulties "from varied interpretations of intention and phraseology in translation and debate in a many-tongued forum," he explained.
Under the early chairmanship of Hugh Clegg, MD,
WMA's Declaration of Helsinki Serves as Guide to Physicians. JAMA. 1964;189(13):33-34. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070130073046