Developments in medical research and practice raise a wide variety of ethical issues – both for professionals and experts and for society as a whole. The Central Ethics Committee (CEC) identifies and discusses ethical problems arising in medicine and prepares practical guidance, such as the SAMS medical-ethical guidelines.
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 offering practical guidance can be developed relatively rapidly by the Central Ethics Committee of the SAMS. To prepare guidelines, the CEC appoints subcommittees comprising carefully selected experts, who follow clearly defined procedures. The CEC is supported by the Ethics department of the SAMS General Secretariat, which is responsible for preparing and distributing publications and organising symposiums on ethical questions.
All current guidelines, as well as manuals, recommendations and position papers, are available for download under Publications. Guidelines which are no longer valid remain available in the archive. Information on individual ethical topics can be found in the A–Z index.