WMA Declaration of Helsinki Meeting

Washington August 26 2013 : Medical experts from around the world will gather in Washington D.C. later this month for the next stage in the process of revising the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Helsinki on medical research. At a one-day meeting at the Hay-Adams Hotel on August 26, stakeholders, including delegates from National Medical Associations, and invited experts, will discuss further revisions to the Declaration. Since its original publication in 1964, the Declaration has become widely regarded as the cornerstone ethical document of research studies involving human subjects.

The WMA is now in the process of revising the document and in April, following several expert conferences, it published a draft revised version of the Declaration for public consultation. During the two-month period for consultation, the WMA received more than 120 comments. These came from national medical associations, other stakeholder organisations and individuals. The comments have been considered by the WMA’s Declaration of Helsinki workgroup and many of the suggestions have now been incorporated into a new revised draft of the document which will be considered at the meeting in Washington.

There will be no keynote speakers at the meeting, but participants will be invited to discuss the revisions paragraph by paragraph.

There are a limited number of places available for journalists at the meeting. Any journalist who wishes to attend should contact Nigel Duncan (see below).


8:00 a.m. Welcome
Ardis D. Hoven, President of the American Medical Association
Cecil B. Wilson, President of the World Medical Association

8:15 a.m. Summary of the revision process to date
Ramin Parsa-Parsi, Chair of the WMA DoH Workgroup

8:25 a.m. Introduction of the new draft revised version of the Declaration of Helsinki
Jeff Blackmer, Canadian Medical Association & WMA DoH Workgroup
Urban Wiesing, University of Tuebingen & WMA DoH Workgroup

8:45 a.m. Section I – Preamble & General Principles
Commentator: Hans van Delden, Council for International Organisations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS)

9:30 a.m. Section II – Risks, Burdens and Benefits & Vulnerable Populations
Commentator: Alex John London, The Center for Ethics and Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh

10:45 a.m. Section III – Scientific Requirements and Research
Protocols & Research Ethics Committees
Commentator: Jerry Menikoff, Office for Human Research Protections, U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services

11:30 a.m. Section IV – Privacy and Confidentiality & Informed Consent
Commentator: Henk ten Have, Center for Healthcare Ethics, Duquesne
University, Pittsburgh

1:45 p.m. Section V – Use of Placebo, Post-Trial Access, Trial Registration and Publication of Results & Unproven Interventions
Commentator: Eric M. Meslin, Indiana University Center for Bioethics, Indianapolis

2:30 p.m. Final Comments & Closing

For further information, please contact:
Nigel Duncan, WMA Public Relations Consultant
tel: +44 20 8997 3653 or +44 7984 944 403