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March 19, 1997

World Medical Association Declaration of HelsinkiRecommendations Guiding Physicians in Biomedical Research Involving Human Subjects

JAMA. 1997;277(11):925-926. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540350075038

INTRODUCTION  It is the mission of the physician to safeguard the health of the people. His or her knowledge and conscience are dedicated to the fulfillment of this mission.The Declaration of Geneva of the World Medical Association binds the physician with the words, "The health of my patient will be my first consideration," and the International Code of Medical Ethics declares that, "A physician shall act only in the patient's interest when providing medical care which might have the effect of weakening the physical and mental condition of the patient."The purpose of biomedical research involving human subjects must be to improve diagnostic, therapeutic and prophylactic procedures and the understanding of the aetiology and pathogenesis of disease.In current medical practice most diagnostic, therapeutic or prophylactic procedures involve hazards. This applies especially to biomedical research.Medical progress is based on research which ultimately must rest in part on experimentation