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Some Guiding Principles for Clinical Investigation

Henry K. Beecher, MD
JAMA. 1966;195(13):1135-1136. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100130109029.
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Human experimentation takes place in several areas: in normal volunteers, in self-experimentation, in patient volunteers, in patients requiring therapy, in experimentation on patients not for their direct good but for the welfare of patients in general. There are ethical problems in all of these categories. The most difficult ones appear in the last area mentioned, and it will be considered first, for in large part guides there also apply to the less difficult areas.

Experimentation for the Benefit of Others, Not for the Patient Involved  Rigid codes which attempt to give detailed instructions to govern research are to be avoided. It is not possible to outline all contingencies; the consequent shortcomings when revealed during work invite legal action.Insofar as it is possible, it is essential to get the informed consent of the patient involved prior to study. It must be recognized that in any complete sense this often is


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