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The Nuremberg Code

Updated: Feb 27, 2022

Chapter 8: Article 4

Get vaccinated, or else! That’s the reality many people are facing today, around the world. In North America for instance, health care workers in many different areas are required to be vaccinated against the flu (and in some instances against their will) if they want to keep their job. Similarly, children are being forced out of public school settings and child care settings, while healthy, simply because they are unvaccinated. In Australia, the Government is withholding financial support to specific citizens, if those citizens refused to vaccinate their kids. So, standard policy is becoming “Get vaccinated, or else!”

Before we talk about that further though, lets back up a bit. I've often heard doctors refer to the Nuremberg Code when discussing vaccination, and I've often wondered what that "code" is. Working through this Online Book project, I realized it was time to look into this a little further.

In the late 1940s, after World War II and the discovery of the atrocities that occurred in concentration camps, a series of trials were conducted in Nuremberg, Germany. These trials were referred to as the Nuremberg Trials. One of the trials dealt specifically with German physicians who had conducted unethical medical procedures and experiments on prisoners. The conclusion of that Nuremberg trial established a clear set of medical ethical guidelines, the purpose of which was to ensure that medical experiments are NEVER AGAIN FORCED upon people. This set of medical ethics is called the Nuremberg Code.

Now first off, I realize that there are likely several sets of principals that govern medical ethics. In medical school I believe there is a course devoted, or a series of courses devoted to teaching medical ethics, so for me to try and sum up medical ethics in a single article, when I am a lay person, it's likely I will significantly miss the mark on the full extent of the discussion that needs to happen here. I also realize that the Nuremberg Code speaks specifically about “medical experiments,” and I assume that many of you will say that vaccine science is settled and that vaccination has passed the experiment stage. So with that in mind I will share my personal opinion, which is that though vaccination has been conducted widely for the past 65 years, and has been in practice on a smaller scale for over 200 years (a long time now by our human standards), from an evolutionary perspective, vaccination effects are likely just barely beginning (Remember Stanford Medicine explained that vaccination alters genes within the immune system cells, and we have no idea what those gene alterations do, if they impair or improve immune system functioning and performance). To me, that means that the practice of vaccination is and will continue to be an ongoing experiment for generations. And separate from that, hearing doctors refer to the Nuremberg Code of ethics in vaccine discussions causes me to believe it has to apply, otherwise they wouldn't mention it specifically. Based on that, I assume that all medical procedures, whether they are considered to be experimental or not, are expected to be approached and explained to patients using the informed consent principles explained within in the Nuremberg code. 

The first principal of the Nuremberg Code states that the participant must be well informed and, with full understanding, consent. You will often hear doctors refer to “informed consent” when discussing vaccination and other medical procedures. To be well informed, and to offer informed consent means that the patient gives permission for the medical procedure, knowing fully ALL the possible side effects or undesirable consequences of the procedure, as well as all the benefits of the procedure. In the informed consent discussion, the doctor must also inform the patient of alternative options, which includes NOT doing the recommended procedure.

As Dr. Paul Thomas has stated repeatedly in many of his lectures and interviews, offering a patient (or parent) the necessary information about possible side effects and consequences of vaccination, and alternative options, so that genuine informed consent can be given, depends upon the doctors being fully informed themselves. He and other doctors state that the majority of doctors are NOT informed about vaccination. In the previous article, I shared how limited our medical doctors' training is on vaccines. When doctors receive maybe 2 LECTURES on vaccines during their entire medical education, and when those lectures focus only on the benefits of vaccines (because in 1984 the HHS instructed that well found vaccine safety concerns cannot be allowed to exist), then doctors simply are not being educated and informed themselves. And if doctors are not well informed themselves, then they cannot educate and inform their patients, as is required by the Nuremberg Code of ethics.

In addition to that, the first principal of the Nuremberg Code also states that a participant (or parent) must VOLUNTARILY consent to a medical procedure. Any aspect of voluntary consent is lost, when a person is required to be vaccinated to:

  1. maintain their employment, and/or

  2. ensure their child is allowed in a child care setting, a public school setting, or a post secondary institutional setting and/or

  3. ensure they continue receiving Government tax benefits or financial support and assistance.

Policy that enforces punitive measures if a person doesn’t accept a medical procedure, then is acting in a coercive or forceful manner, which thereby removes a persons' ability to VOLUNTARILY decide for themselves. Such coercive and forceful policy is medically unethical, according to the Nuremberg Code. When it comes to current vaccination practices and policies, many doctors today are stating that many of the 10 ethical principals identified in the Nuremberg Code are not being met at all.

To quote wikipedia:

The Nuremberg Code has not been officially accepted as law by any nation or as official ethics guidelines by any association. In fact, the Code’s reference to Hippocratic duty to the individual patient and the need to provide information was not initially favored by the American Medical Association. The Western world initially dismissed the Nuremberg Code as a “code for barbarians” and not for civilized physicians and investigators...

However, the Code is considered to be the most important document in the history of the clinical research ethics, which had a massive influence on global human rights. The Nuremberg Code and the related Declaration of Helsinki are the basis for the Code of Federal Regulations Title 45 Part 46, which are the regulations issued by the United States Department of Health and Human Services for the ethical treatment of human subjects, and are used in Institutional Review Boards (IRBs). In addition, the idea of informed consent has been universally accepted and now constitutes Article 7 of the United Nations' International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It also served as the basis for International Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research Involving Human Subjects proposed by the World Health Organization.

Professor Mary Holland, of the New York University School of Law, addressed this issue before the UN on April 26, 2016. She had the following to say (emphasis ine):

Since WWII, the International community has recognized the grave dangers in involuntary scientific and medical experimentation on human subjects.  In the aftermath of medical Nazi atrocities, the world affirmed the Nuremberg Code, which stated that the voluntary consent of human subjects is absolutely essential.  The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights further enshrined this prohibition against involuntary experimentation stating, no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation. Such a prohibition is now universally recognized, so that some courts and scholars should pronounce the right to informed consent as a matter of customary international law. In other words it applies everywhere, whether or not a country has it on its books. And it’s the same as the norms prohibiting slavery, genocide, torture and piracy.

But what about informed consent in the area of treatment, including preventative treatments, like vaccines. This is a controversial issue today, in many countries including the United States. In 2005, the UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), addressed this issue, adopting the Universal Declaration on Bioethics in Human Rights, based on a consensus of 193 countries, including the United States. The participating countries hoped that this declaration, like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights before it would become a set of guiding principles. On the issue of consent, the declaration states, “Any preventative medical intervention is only to be carried out with the prior free and informed consent of the person concerned based on adequate information.” It further notes that the sole interest of science or society is not sufficient. This pronouncement is the extension of the medical oath attributed to Hippocrates 2500 years ago, that doctors must work for the good of their patients, and never do harm. Abbreviated as the first "Do no harm" principle, this credo embodies the precautionary principle in medicine, clearly placing the interest of individual patients, above the interests of the collective or so called herd.

This precautionary principle leads directly to the view that vaccination policies must be recommended, not coerced. The doctor patient relationship depends first and foremost on trust, and coercion undermines it. When the doctor patient relationship is based on coercion, trust is a casualty, and doctors then serve the state, and by extension, the society above their individual patients. This is a slippery slope where civilized medicine has too often derailed in the past. Dr. Leo Alexander, the chief US medical consultant to the Nuremberg Trials, warned that in 1949, "That from small beginnings the values of an entire society may be subverted." He pointed out that long before Nazis came to power in Germany, a cultural shift in the medical community had quote, “Had already paved the way for adoption of a utilitarian Hegelian point of view, with literature on the euthanasia and extermination of those with disabilities, as early as 1931.”

Following the medical precautionary principle the default position for vaccination must be recommendation, not compulsion. Individuals, for themselves and their minor children, should have the right to accept, or refuse, the preventive medical interventions based on adequate information, and without coercion, such as the threat of the loss of economic, or educational benefits. Informed consent must be the default position because compulsion on its face only undermines trust, limits the fundamental rights to life, liberty, bodily integrity, informed consent, privacy, and parental decision making. 

CONTINUE to the next article Ch8: Article 5

Article Sources

  • Info on the Nuremberg Code Here

  • Paul Offit - the Pro-Vaccine Expert: He has created a vaccine himself. He explains that upon his request at his university, medical students now receive two lectures on vaccination, whereas, before he asked to offer those lectures, medical students were not taught anything about vaccination. He said many medical schools don’t teach anything on vaccination. Hear that Here

  • Professor Mary Holland addressing the UN on vaccination policy Here

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Bob Martin
Bob Martin
Nov 15, 2021

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