• Article

Declaration of Helsinki should be strengthened

The World Medical Association is now debating the next revision of the Declaration of Helsinki. Kenneth Rothman and Karin Michels argue that critics of the declaration, notably the US Food and Drug Administration, are trying to give scientists greater latitude than the declaration allows. In particular, Rothman and Michels dispute the morality of performing placebo controlled trials when there is an existing accepted treatment, and they offer other suggestions to strengthen the protection of patients who participate in medical experiments. Michael Baum argues against their absolutism on this issue and against what he considers their anti-science stance.


Rothman, K., & Michels, KB. (2000). Declaration of Helsinki should be strengthened. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 321(7258), 442-445. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.321.7258.442