KM Committee of International College
Nowadays, countries around the world, especially developed countries, have established human rights laws covering several aspects, including the law governing the conduct of research on humans or animals. Developed countries also have attempted to stipulate regulations and guidelines for research on human subjects, and promote the adoption of the regulations/guidelines in developing countries, such as guidelines for manufacturing of pharmaceuticals or patent application. Prior to being accepted for publication or granted a patent, or conduct a scientific research investigation involving human subjects, researchers are required to obtain ethical approval from a recognized ethics committee. In addition, seminars and conferences have been conducted on the ethical principles or guidelines for research in human subjects in both developing and developed countries; the outcomes of which have been several declarations.
The most prominent and widely accepted and most commonly referred to is the Declaration of Helsinki of the World Medical Association (WMA), firstly adopted in Helsinki, Finland in B.E. 2507. The Declaration has been regularly amended to keep pace with advanced science, technology and social changes. The last amendment was formulated and adopted in Scotland in B.E. 2543. Later, several declarations concerning the conduct of a research on human subjects have also been adopted. The most essential element of those declarations is to protect the dignity, rights, safety, and well-being of human volunteers or research participants.