"The health of my patient must be my top priority."
The Helsinki Declaration is a demonstration of what the World Medical Association regards as being of good ethical standard when studies on humans or human material is being performed. Most European countries, including Great Britain, plus Canada and the U.S. have signed the WHO Helsinki Declaration.
In section II of the Declaration concerning medical research in combination with professional treatment (clinical research), it is declared that:
- When treating an ill individual, the doctor is free to use a new diagnostic therapeutical method if, in his/her view, this method offers hope to save the patient's life, regain health, or ease suffering.
- The possible benefits, risks, and malaise in such a new method must be balanced according to the advantages of the best traditional diagnostic and therapeutic methods.
World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki; II. Medical research combined with clinical care (Clinical research). Adopted by the 18th World Medical Assembly (WMA), Helsinki, Finland, 1964 and amended by the 29th WMA, Tokyo, Japan, 1975, 35th WMA, Venice, Italy, 1983 and the 41st WMA, Hong Kong, 1989, 48th WMA General Assembly, Somerset West, Republic of South Africa, 1996 and the 52nd WMA General Assembly, Edinburgh, Scotland, 2000.