Developments in medical research and practice raise a wide range of ethical issues – both for practitioners and experts and for society as a whole. The Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences (SAMS) aims to contribute to resolving these issues.

The academy’s Central Ethics Committee (CEC) anticipates and discusses ethical problems in medicine and formulates guidelines, recommendations and opinions for the purpose of providing assistance in practice and biomedical research. In contrast to the drafting of legislation, which is a time-consuming process, the CEC can produce guidelines relatively rapidly for areas where questions or problems of medical ethics are arising. This involves a careful, clearly defined development procedure. The CEC is supported by the Ethics department of the SAMS General Secretariat, which is responsible for preparing and distributing publications and organising regular conferences on current ethical issues.


Comprehensive information on the issues tackled by the CEC and its subcommittees can be found using the menu on the left-hand side of this page. The guidelines, recommendations and commentaries are available for download under Publications, where printed copies can also be ordered. All publications are available in German and French, with the guidelines generally also being published in English and in Italian. Previously valid guidelines remain available in the archive.





lic. iur. Michelle Salathé
Head Department Ethics