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Am J Public Health. 2018 Jan;108(1):42-46. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2017.304103. Epub 2017 Nov 21.

Beyond Nazi War Crimes Experiments: The Voluntary Consent Requirement of the Nuremberg Code at 70.

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George J. Annas is with the Center for Health Law, Ethics & Human Rights, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA.


The year 2017 marks both the 70th anniversary of the Nuremberg Code and the first major revisions of federal research regulations in almost 3 decades. I suggest that the informed consent provisions of the federal research regulations continue to follow the requirements of the Nuremberg Code. However, modifications are needed to the informed consent (and institutional review board) provisions to make the revised federal regulations more effective in promoting a genuine conversation between the researcher and the research subject. This conversation must take seriously both the therapeutic illusion and the desire of both the researcher and the research subject not to engage in sharing uncertainty.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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