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December 20, 2000

Perspectives on the Fifth Revision of the Declaration of Helsinki

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Committee on Scientific Dishonesty, Ministry of Science, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Dr Riis was 1 of the 3 Nordic authors involved in drafting the 1975 version of the Declaration of Helsinki.

JAMA. 2000;284(23):3045-3046. doi:10.1001/jama.284.23.3045

The first Declaration of Helsinki adopted by the World Medical Association in 1964 was one of the first attempts to transform reactions to the atrocities committed in the name of biomedical research during the Nazi period into preventive measures with a full global perspective. The second version, released in 1975, was rewritten from an observation point closer to active clinical science. The resulting impact on biomedical science was obvious within a few years. The requirement to establish research ethics committees made research ethics visible, not only among scientists but also in society at large.