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March 19, 1997

Who Wrote the Declaration of Helsinki?

JAMA. 1997;277(11):926. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540350076039

Principal authorship of the Declaration of Helsinki cannot be attributed to any specific individuals. The original text and subsequent amendments have been brought to the World Medical Association by various national medical associations and officially adopted during meetings of the World Medical Assembly. The original document was developed under the auspices of the World Medical Association's Committee on Medical Ethics. The committee began to work on the document after World War II under the chairmanship of Hugh Clegg, MD, of the United Kingdom, and then Antonio Spinalli, MD, of Italy.1 Many national medical associations reviewed the document and offered criticism and recommendations for change. The original text of the Declaration of Helsinki was presented by the Royal Dutch Medical Association and adopted by the 18th World Medical Assembly in Helsinki, Finland, in 1964 (written communication, Ian T. Field, MD, January 30, 1997). In 1975, the text of the declaration was