HEALTH AND SAFETY

» Drug, Devices, and Supplements

» Physician Accountability

» Consumer Product Safety

» Worker Safety

» Health Care Delivery

» Auto and Truck Safety

» Global Access to Medicines

» Infant Formula Marketing

 

More Information on Ethics and Clinical Trials

Letter in the Washington Post on Modifications to the Declaration of Helsinki

This letter to the editor, by Health Research Group Deputy Director Peter Lurie, M.D., M.P.H. and Director Sidney Wolfe, M.D., appeared in the Washington Post on October 17, 2000.

Protecting Patients In Medical Research

The real story behind the revised research ethics document known as the Declaration of Helsinki [news story, Oct. 8] is that the declaration was reopened with the specific intent of watering it down so that patients in experiments in poor countries would not have to be provided with the best scientifically proven therapies. Early drafts of the revision required only that a patient be provided interventions "that would otherwise be available to him or her." But hundreds of physicians, researchers and advocates from around the world criticized that language, and, as a result, the declaration has reverted to requiring that the best-proven interventions be provided to those in comparison groups during the study.

This two-year process gave those who would weaken the Declaration of Helsinki more than ample opportunity to make their case, and it was squarely rejected. From now on researchers will have no choice but to provide scientifically proven interventions-regardless of where the research is conducted.

Copyright © 2014 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.


Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation

 

Together, two separate corporate entities called Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation, Inc., form Public Citizen. Both entities are part of the same overall organization, and this Web site refers to the two organizations collectively as Public Citizen.

Although the work of the two components overlaps, some activities are done by one component and not the other. The primary distinction is with respect to lobbying activity. Public Citizen, Inc., an IRS § 501(c)(4) entity, lobbies Congress to advance Public Citizen’s mission of protecting public health and safety, advancing government transparency, and urging corporate accountability. Public Citizen Foundation, however, is an IRS § 501(c)(3) organization. Accordingly, its ability to engage in lobbying is limited by federal law, but it may receive donations that are tax-deductible by the contributor. Public Citizen Inc. does most of the lobbying activity discussed on the Public Citizen Web site. Public Citizen Foundation performs most of the litigation and education activities discussed on the Web site.

You may make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., Public Citizen Foundation, or both. Contributions to both organizations are used to support our public interest work. However, each Public Citizen component will use only the funds contributed directly to it to carry out the activities it conducts as part of Public Citizen’s mission. Only gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible. Individuals who want to join Public Citizen should make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., which will not be tax deductible.

 

To become a member of Public Citizen, click here.
To become a member and make an additional tax-deductible donation to Public Citizen Foundation, click here.