WMA Resolution on Unproven Therapy and the Ebola Virus


Adopted by the 65th WMA General Assembly, Durban, South Africa, October 2014

In the case of Ebola virus, the WMA strongly supports the intention of Paragraph 37 of the 2013 revision of the Declaration of Helsinki, which reads:

In the treatment of an individual patient, where proven interventions do not exist or other known interventions have been ineffective, the physician, after seeking expert advice, with informed consent from the patient or a legally authorized representative, may use an unproven intervention if in the physician’s judgement it offers hope of saving life, re-establishing health or alleviating suffering. This intervention should subsequently be made the object of research, designed to evaluate its safety and efficacy. In all cases, new information must be recorded and, where appropriate, made publicly available.