Medical experimentation on prisoners (part 3): the main milestones of the evolving ethical’ texts and codes


Meriem Gaddas
maher jedidi
Mehdi Ben Khelil
Helmi Ben Saad


Ethical foundations related to the use of human beings in medical research, already existed in the oldest texts. The historical evolution of
regulations (in terms of texts and codes) had always drawn its legitimacy and its logic from the historical context. The main aim of these
regulations was to satisfy a need to restore moral or physical prejudices, by hoping by means of the law, that these abuses would not be
repeated. Although they were the main victims of medical experimentation, prisoners were rarely specifically identified in these legislations.
This history note, the third in a series on medical experimentation on prisoners, aims to describe the major founding texts of ethics in medical
experimentation, drawing attention to the historical context as well as the issues that shaped these documents.