The new possibilities created by advances in medicine frequently raise ethical questions. In contrast to legislation, which is a time-consuming process, medical-ethical guidelines can be developed relatively rapidly by the Central Ethics Committee of the SAMS. These offer practical guidance for physicians and other health professionals engaged in clinical practice and biomedical research.
The Central Ethics Committee (CEC) of the SAMS identifies and discusses ethical problems arising in medicine and develops practical guidance. To prepare guidelines, the CEC appoints subcommittees comprising carefully selected experts, who follow clearly defined procedures. These include, for example, expert hearings and consultations, a public consultation, and approval by the CEC, Executive Board and Senate of the SAMS.
All current guidelines can be downloaded under Publications; print versions in French and German can also be ordered free of charge. Guidelines which are no longer applicable are available in the online archive. Information on guidelines in preparation can be found below.