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Since 1964, through 7 revisions, the World Medical Association’s (WMA’s) Declaration of Helsinki has stood as an important statement regarding the ethical principles guiding medical research with human participants. The declaration is consulted by ethics review committees, funders, researchers, and research participants; has been incorporated into national legislation; and is routinely invoked to ascertain the ethical appropriateness of clinical trials.
There is much to praise about the revision process and the latest revision, which coincides with the declaration’s 50th anniversary. The Working Group extensively consulted stakeholders and justified the proposed revisions. The result is a declaration that is better organized into clear sections, more precise, and likely to be more effective at protecting research participants.
Millum J, Wendler D, Emanuel EJ. The 50th Anniversary of the Declaration of Helsinki: Progress but Many Remaining Challenges. JAMA. 2013;310(20):2143–2144. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.281632
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