To improve your experience on Lilly TrialGuide, please use the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer, with JavaScript enabled.
This website is not optimized for your browser, as configured.

Clinical Trial History: Human Protections Through the Years and Across the Globe


Clinical research, by its very nature, is continually evolving as we learn through the scientific process and sometimes through human behavior. The Hippocratic Oath, established in 500 BC, bound a physician to uphold professional ethical standards. But this solemnly sworn oath was not a requirement, and it was followed by a long period of stasis. Advances in protections for people in research weren’t put in place until thousands of years later, and often these were developed in response to particular abuses or scandals.

For example, the Nuremburg Code of international ethics was established in 1947 in response to the atrocities of World War II, some of which were committed in the name of science. The 1960s and 1970s gave rise to additional human protections around the globe and made the practice of bioethics more standard.

It may be surprising to realize the protections we expect and perhaps take for granted today are only a few decades old. Take a look at a few key events in the graphic below.



Tags: History, Bioethics, Infographic,

Recent Articles

2019 Perceptions and Insights Study: 01

2019 Perceptions and Insights Study: Part 1

Kevin Hudziak Photo
Kevin Hudziak
April 1st, 20202 minute read

In the first of our two-part infographic series, we focus on a subset of CISCRP’s findings on general perceptions of clinical research.

Understanding Cancer Clinical Trials

Understanding Cancer Clinical Trials

Leigh Anne Naas Headshot
Leigh Anne Naas
March 13th, 20207 minute read

Considering a cancer clinical trial? Check out this list of questions to be sure you are informed about the process.

Boys wearing soccer jerseys running

Driving Progress Against Childhood Cancer

Leigh Anne Naas Headshot
Leigh Anne Naas
March 11th, 20202 minute read

Explore the infographic to learn about the role of pediatric research in powering progress against childhood cancer.

BackToSchool CaseReportForms FeatureImage 27Aug2019-01

Understanding Case Report Forms

Ayana Rowley Henderson Headshot
Ayana Rowley Henderson
March 3rd, 20203 minute read

Learn what a Case Report Form is, what the components are, and how they are used in clinical trials.


A Hero’s Journey Through Clinical Trials

Leigh Anne Naas Headshot
Leigh Anne Naas
February 14th, 20203 minute read

In collaboration with artist John Magnan, we launched a crowd-sourced art project dedicated to clinical trial participants.