Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
GARRAFA, Volnei and PRADO, Mauro Machado do. Changes in the Declaration of Helsinki: economic fundamentalism, ethical imperialism and social control. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2001, vol.17, n.6, pp.1489-1496. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2001000600033.
This study is a critical reflection on attempts to alter the Declaration of Helsinki, a key document of the democratic theses achieved in the latter half of the 20th century and thus a legacy for humanity because of its ethical guidelines for research involving human beings. Therefore, there must be worldwide social control over such a document, and any change in it demands ample debate with international participation to avoid any reversal in its humanitarian thrust. The study analyzes current aspects of research with human subjects in so-called "outlying" or "developing" countries. It also brings a social and political focus to the matter, highlighting that the economic fundamentalism exercised by wealthy countries inevitably leads to an ethical imperialism, exposing communities of poor countries to even greater vulnerability, discrimination, and social exclusion.
Keywords : Helsinki Declaration; Ethics; Research with Humans.