The Nuremberg Code: The Origins of Research Ethics

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This video discusses the story of research ethics in the United States. It all started when the Nazi War criminals were taken to trial due to conducting experiments on prisoners without approval. The tests were done on thousands of prisoners as most of them died and the others became permanently disabled. As a result the Nuremberg Code was established making known that the consents of the prisoners we very important. Although the consents were taking into consideration the benefits must outweigh the risk of all experiments. The Nuremberg Code became the first international document that encouraged the voluntary involvement of informed consent. I found this very important because without this code the people would have become subjects without consent. In today’s world of healthcare consent is needed for any procedure. With this document lawsuits would be avoided. Obtaining someone’s consent is critical. An individual should have the say with what is being done to their body. Then it went on about the Tuskegee Syphilis study and how it ended because national media exposed it.

The National Research Act of 1974 was passed due to the publicity of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. The Belmont Report is one of the primary works regarding ethics and nursing research. The three important principles for using any human subjects for research are: Respect for persons (autonomy), Beneficence (Do no harm), and Justice (playing fair). Another part of the video I found important in addition to the Nuremberg Code is the Belmont Report. This documentation is important because it protects subjects and participants in clinical trials or research studies. Without this documentation I really cant imagine how nursing research would be.

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The Belmont Report

The Belmont Report was created for the Protection of human subjects that were experimented on without any knowledge. The Report was established as a result of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. The document was made to differentiate research and clinical practice. It required three basic principles to guide researchers in making ethical decisions while conducting research. The goal for the report is to provide respect and safety for those who cannot consent for themselves such as children and the cognitively impaired. Secondly providing quality care making it an obligation that these studies are not providing harm to individuals. Making sure the benefits overshadows the risks. Lastly providing justice by fairly distributing benefits and liabilities from the research to all mankind. The report also talks about how researchers must inform the individuals about the experiments, discussing risks and benefits, from there they will make their own choice to be apart of it or not. As well as ways to accommodate care for everyone. The Belmont Report remains a reliable document of the basic priorities for all committed to ethics and research concerning human subjects.

Institutional Review Board

The IRB was established in 1964 in response to the abuse of basic ethical that were taking place in some of the researches. The obligation of the committee is to provide ways to make research safe for all individuals involved. They do so by providing safety, privacy, rights, and wellbeing. IRB operates with guiding principles of respect for persons, risks and benefits analysis, and justice and fairness. Both the Belmont Report and IRB were made to provide safe quality care for people involved in research. I really find them important. Nursing is about providing quality and effective care in a caring manner. There’s a few ways research can go wrong this is why these documents and board committees were established to stand for human needs. Research is critical in nursing but it must be done the right way.

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The Nuremberg Code: The Origins of Research Ethics. (2022, Jun 10). Retrieved from

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