- Bryan Christie
The World Medical Association (WMA) has sent out its strongest ever signal to pharmaceutical companies and research organisations around the world that rich populations should not exploit poor populations by testing on them new treatments from which they will never benefit.
The WMA General Assembly, meeting last week in Edinburgh, approved a revised Declaration of Helsinki, which was first drawn up in 1964 and has since become the most widely accepted guidance worldwide on medical research involving human participants.
The new declaration emphasises in much clearer terms than ever before the duty that doctors owe to participants in medical research. It says that freely given informed consent, preferably in writing, should be obtained from all participants and that people who cannot give informed consent should be included …