1995/82. Human rights and bioethics

The Commission on Human Rights,

Recalling that, according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Recalling also the ideal of free human beings enjoying freedom from fear and want, as recognized by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenants on Human Rights,

Seeking to preserve the dignity and integrity of the human being,

Recalling the right of everyone, as recognized by the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications,

Convinced, in accordance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, of the benefits to be derived from the encouragement and development of international contacts and cooperation in the scientific field,

Recalling the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, whereby no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation,

Recalling also the Principles of Medical Ethics relevant to the role of health personnel, particularly physicians, in the protection of prisoners and detainees against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 37/194 of 18 December 1982,

Emphasizing that, under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, States are obliged to protect children against any form of violence,

Aware of the rapid development of the life sciences and the dangers that certain practices may pose to the integrity and dignity of the individual,

Seeking to ensure that scientific progress benefits individuals and develops in a manner respectful of fundamental human rights,

Recalling in this connection its resolutions 1991/45 of 5 March 1991 and 1993/91 of 10 March 1993,

Referring to decision 1994/108 of 19 August 1994 of the Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities regarding this question,

Recognizing in this regard the need for international cooperation in order to ensure that mankind as a whole benefits from the life sciences and to prevent them from being used for any purpose other than the good of mankind,

Convinced of the need to develop a life sciences ethic at the national and international levels,

1. Takes note with satisfaction of the report of the Secretary-General (E/CN.4/1995/74);

2. Invites Governments, the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system, in particular the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the World Health Organization, and other intergovernmental, particularly regional, organizations and non-governmental organizations to inform the Secretary-General of activities being carried out to ensure that the life sciences develop in a manner respectful of human rights and beneficial to humanity as a whole;

3. Invites States to inform the Secretary-General of legislative or other measures taken to this effect, including the possible establishment of national consultative bodies, with a view to promoting exchanges of experience between such institutions;

4. Requests the Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, under the agenda item "Human rights and scientific and technological developments", to consider ways of ensuring that the life sciences develop in a manner fully respectful of human rights and beneficial to humanity as a whole and to make recommendations to that effect;

5. Requests the Secretary-General to prepare a report on the basis of these contributions for consideration by the Commission at its fifty-third session.
62nd meeting
8 March 1995
[Adopted without a vote. See chap. XIV. E/CN.4/1995/176]


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