What do you think about personalized health?

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Medical management of suspected persons with body packs

Doctors in charge of people suspected of smuggling drugs in their bodies (body packing) are confronted with conflicting expectations. In consultation with the Conference of Swiss Prison Doctors, the Central Ethics Committee (CEC) of the SAMS has supplemented the guidelines «Medical practice in respect of detained persons» with a new appendix clarifying the tasks of the doctors involved.

People who illegally transport drugs in their bodies across the border run a high risk to their health. In case of suspicion, border guards may request their hospitalization for verification purposes. The doctors involved are faced with the dilemma that they are simultaneously responsible for verifying the «suspicion of body packing» but also for the medical surveillance of the person concerned. The new Appendix H of the SAMS Guidelines «Medical practice in respect of detained persons» provides a clarification of the roles.

Medical practice in respect of detained persons (appendix lit. H amended 2018) PDF

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New medical-ethical guidelines: Assessment of capacity in medical practice

The presence of capacity is an essential prerequisite for the validity of a patient’s consent to medical treatment or care. Declaring whether a patient has or does not have capacity has thus profound implications. With its new medical-ethical guidelines published today, SAMS offers support for medical practice.

Patients’ autonomy is of major importance in medical decision-making processes. In this respect, the presence of capacity plays a fundamental role. However, health professionals often face significant uncertainties when assessing this capacity. The new SAMS guidelines provide guidance for all professionals involved in such an assessment. The guidelines can be downloaded in PDF format (in German, French, Italian and English); printed copies can be ordered in German and French free of charge: order@samw.ch.

Guidelines: Assessment of capacity in medical practice (2018) PDF

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The Swiss Personalized Health Network supports 10 projects with 9.6 million Swiss Francs

The Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN) contributes to the development, the implementation and the validation of the data infrastructure that is required to make health-related data interoperable and shareable across Switzerland. Under the second call for proposals, SPHN decided to support ten projects for a total amount of CHF 9.6 million.

In order to make the best use of the available resources, the second call for proposals launched by SPHN was again coordinated with the ETH-Domain Strategic Focus Area in Personalized Health and Related Technologies (PHRT). A list of the funded projects is published on the SPHN website; three of the ten projects will be co-funded by SPHN and PHRT.

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Research in palliative care: six projects supported

The SAMS, the Gottfried and Julia Bangerter-Rhyner Foundation and the Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation jointly supported palliative care research from 2014 to 2018. In the last call for proposals, six projects were approved for a total amount of CHF 898’519.

The synopsis provides an overview of all recipients of this funding program since 2014. The most important results of supported projects will be presented at a research symposium organized by the SAMS in autumn 2019. This day will also be an opportunity to review the program and reflect on the future of palliative care research funding in Switzerland. Details will be published via newsletter and on our website.

Synopsis of grantees

Link to the programme



Call for proposals: national MD-PhD scholarships 2019

The SAMS and the Swiss National Science Foundation, with the support of Swiss Cancer Research, award a number of competitive MD-PhD scholarships. The submission deadline is 15 December 2018.

MD-PhD scholarships enable young physicians to complete a doctoral research training in natural sciences, public health sciences, clinical research or biomedical ethics at a Swiss university. In 2019, the scholarships covering the salary of the beneficiaries for a period of 2 to 3 years will be funded by the SNSF, the SAMS and Swiss Cancer Research. Details on the format and procedure for submission can be found in the program regulations and on our website.

National MD-PhD program regulations PDF

Link to the programme



What do you think about personalized health?

Personalized health is influencing medicine more and more. But what does the population think of this evolution? The Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences invite to dialogue on personalized health with online questions, various events, and a new thematic portal.

The field of personalized health is one of the six strategic priorities of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences. SAMS coordinates the various activities within the association. Detailed information can be found in the press release (PDF) published today and on our website. Take part in the dialogue, your opinion interests us.

Media release: Personalized health – public dialogue project (in German) PDF

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Dominik Bach is the laureate of the Robert Bing Prize 2018 in neurosciences

Every two years the SAMS awards the Robert Bing Prize to researchers up to 45 years of age for outstanding achievements in the field of neurological sciences. This year, the Prize of 50'000.– Swiss francs goes to Dominik Bach, neuroscientist and psychiatrist at the University of Zurich.

The Prize originates from a generous bequest of Basel neurologist Robert Bing (1878 – 1956). In accordance with the donor’s will, the Prize is awarded for outstanding work contributing to the recognition, treatment and cure of nervous diseases. Dominik Bach's pioneering work on the neurobiological mechanisms of anxiety and fear memory is internationally recognized and paves the way to an innovative treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. Further information can be found in the media release of 3 July 2018.

Media release: Robert Bing Prize 2018 PDF

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Medical-ethical guidelines «Management of dying and death»

Since the publication of the SAMS «End-of-life care» guidelines in 2004, the topics of dying and death have been subject to increasing professional and public debate. Therefore, the Central Ethics Committee (CEC) decided to revise the 2004 guidelines. As of today, the new guidelines become effective.

The medical-ethical guidelines «Management of dying and death» aim to link different points of view and moral concepts, and to ensure that the right to self-determination of everyone involved – patients, relatives and medical practitioners – is respected and safeguarded. Further information about the goals and the development of the guidelines can be found on our website.

Guidelines: Management of dying and death (2018) PDF

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