California Health and Safety Code

Sec. § 24171

The Legislature hereby finds and declares that medical experimentation on human subjects is vital for the benefit of mankind, however such experimentation shall be undertaken with due respect to the preciousness of human life and the right of individuals to determine what is done to their own bodies.
The Legislature further finds and declares that:


The Nuremberg Code of Ethics in Medical Research was developed after the trial of Nazi war criminals for unethical use of persons in medical experiments; subsequently, the Declaration of Helsinki additionally established recommendations guiding doctors in experimentation involving human subjects.


Neither the Nuremberg Code nor the Declaration of Helsinki are codified under law and are, therefore, unenforceable.


It is necessary that medical experimentation be done in such a way as to protect the rights of the human subjects involved.


There is, and will continue to be, a growing need for protection for citizens of the state from unauthorized, needless, hazardous, or negligently performed medical experiments on human beings.
It is, therefore, the intent of the Legislature, in the enacting of this chapter, to provide minimum statutory protection for the citizens of this state with regard to human experimentation and to provide penalties for those who violate such provisions.

Last accessed
Jun. 6, 2016