The Nuremberg Military Tribunal's decision in the case of the United States v Karl Brandt et al. includes what is now called the Nuremberg Code, a ten point statement delimiting permissible medical experimentation on human subjects. According to this statement, humane experimentation is justified only if its results benefit society and it is carried out in accord with basic principles that "satisfy moral, ethical, and legal concepts." To some extent the Nuremberg Code has been superseded by the Declaration of Helsinki as a guide for human experimentation.
--"Permissible Medical Experiments." Trials of War Criminals before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals under Control Council Law No. 10. Nuremberg October 1946 - April 1949, Washington. U.S. Government Printing Office (n.d.), vol. 2., pp. 181-182.
The duty and responsibility for ascertaining the quality of the consent rests upon each individual who initiates, directs or engages in the experiment. It is a personal duty and responsibility which may not be delegated to another with impunity.