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March 3, 1993

The Nazi Doctors and the Nuremberg Code: Human Rights in Human Experimentation

Author Affiliations

New York University New York, NY

JAMA. 1993;269(9):1168-1169. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03500090104044

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


The Nazi Doctors and the Nuremberg Code, an excellent and well-organized reader edited by George Annas and Michael Grodin, is about the "Doctors' Trial," convened to examine the gross abuses in human experimentation in Nazi Germany. From this trial emerged the Nuremberg Code, intended to establish the boundaries of research ethics and to set the agenda for future discussions of the ethical and legal issues involved in the conduct of human experimentation.

The essays in this volume, by historians, philosophers, lawyers, and medical researchers, address the meaning of the Code and its impact—on American and international law, on current medical research practices and policies, and on ethical perspectives. The authors vary in their interpretations, reflecting continued disagreement over the actual influence of this Code, the meaning of such principles as informed consent, and the relevance of its guidelines in the context of current medical research and the urgency of problems

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