Unethical human research in the field of neuroscience: a historical review
Hussein Algahtani1, Mohammed Bajunaid2, Bader Shirah3
1 King Abdulaziz Medical City King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences Jeddah Saudi Arabia
2 King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences Jeddah Saudi Arabia
3 King Abdullah International Medical Research Center King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences Jeddah Saudi Arabia
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Understanding the historical foundations of ethics in human research are key to illuminating future human research and clinical trials. This paper gives an overview of the most remarkable unethical human research and how past misconducts helped develop ethical guidelines on human experimentation such as The Nuremberg Code 1947 following WWII. Unethical research in the field of neuroscience also proved to be incredibly distressing. Participants were often left with life-long cognitive disabilities. This emphasizes the importance of implicating strict rules and ethical guidelines in neuroscience research that protect participants and respects their dignity. The experiments conducted by German Nazi in the concentration camps during WWII are probably the most inhumane and brutal ever conducted. The Nuremberg Code of 1947, one of the few positive outcomes of the Nazi experiments, is often considered the first document to set out ethical regulations of human research. It consists of numerous necessary criteria, to highlight a few, the subject must give informed consent, there must be a concrete scientific basis for the experiment, and the experiment should yield positive results that cannot be obtained in any other way. In the end, we must remember, the interest of the patient must always prevail over the interest of science or society.