The mission of the Swiss National Advisory Commission on Biomedical Ethics is to provide information on the state of medical research, to identify the social options and ethical issues of biotechnology in the medical area, and to contribute to the development of comprehensive ethical opinions (see Reproductive Medicine Act, FMedG). As an extra-parliamentary Commission, it is also responsible for identifying issues that arise from a conflict between research objectives and the interests of other parties.
- The Commission is constituted as an independent panel of experts. Its independence allows it to analyse ethical issues in depth and to debate them in the context of Switzerland's democratic traditions as well as its civil liberties and fundamental social rights.
- The Commission formulates its arguments for the government, the parliament and the public. It does not pre-empt decisions of the legislature, but is intended to inform policy.
- The Commission is not required to take a position on individual research projects; this is the responsibility of the cantonal ethics committees.
- It is not in the remit of the Commission to make final decisions on what is ethically justifiable or morally responsible. However, in the public interest it is committed to clarifying such issues with open discussion and communication.
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Last edition: 21.12.2018