Study “Physicians’ attitudes to assisted suicide” published
Somewhat less than half of the respondents can imagine situations where they would personally be prepared to perform it. Over a quarter tolerate physician-assisted suicide but would not participate themselves.
The study involved a random sample of Swiss physicians. However, given the response rate, the results cannot be generalized to the medical profession as a whole; rather, they may reflect the views of physicians with a particular interest in this issue.
Study “Physicians’ attitudes to assisted suicide” PDF (only available in German)
SAMS study “Physicians’ attitudes to assisted suicide”: Summary of results and response of the Central Ethics Committee PDF
Media release PDF
Promoting open access to research results
Accordingly, it supports the implementation of open access. The SAMS takes the view that open access to research results is the best way of ensuring and improving the availability of information for researchers, healthcare professionals, patients and the general public. In view of the latest global developments in open access described in this position paper, the SAMS calls on publishers and scientific actors to facilitate and expedite the transition to open access, in order to maximize the benefits of medical research for society.
A German and a French version of the publication can be ordered at the SAMS; PDFs (in all three languages) can be downloaded under www.samw.ch/en/Publications/Statements.
An appeal for an open European higher education area
Switzerland’s affiliation with the European higher education area is threatened in consequence of the yes-vote on the federal popular initiative «mass immigration» from 9 February 2014. In its initial reaction, the European Commission has excluded Switzerland from the 8th EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 and from the student exchange programme Erasmus+. The signers of this appeal call upon decision-makers in Europe and Switzerland to enable Switzerland’s participation in these important programmes, and voice their commitment to an open European and international higher education area.
Webpage with the online petition:
Immigration policy: manifesto open science location Switzerland
The forthcoming votes on the immigration policy will undoubtedly be perceived as test for this openness. Against this background, the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, together with the other scentific and academic actors, affirm the necessity for a free exchange of knowledge and people with the surrounding countries. With this in mind, these actors have published a manifesto available at:
Manifesto for an open education and research location Switzerland (pdf: German; French)
Transferability of a HTA-Report prepared by IQWiG into Swiss context – an analysis based on the examble of the use of Ezetimib for the treatment of hypercholesterolaemia
The report points out that the reports by the IQWiG can be used as a basis for the preparation of the «Medical Effects» section in the reports by the Swiss Medical Board, when certain preconditions are fulfilled. The section on costs, cost effectiveness, ethical and legal considerations, and the overall assessment and recommendations require additional attention.
The SAMS calls for entries in the field of Neurosciences and Health Services Research
The Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences announces the Théodore-Ott-Prize 2012 in the field of Neurosciences (award for an outstanding scientific life's work) and the Robert-Bing-Prize 2012 to reward young researchers in the field of Neuosciences. Deadline for application submission is August 31, 2012.
In addition, the second call for the new funding programme in Health Services Research is launched. Deadline for submission is September 1, 2012. New: the requests must be submitted to the SAMS (electronically to email@example.com).
Further information is available on the individual websites that can be entered via http://www.samw.ch/en/News/Calls.html
Benefits and value of medical interventions
The study describes the methods for evaluating medical interventions and their application in different countries along with their advantages and disadvantages. It summarises the possible value of such methods for application in Switzerland. The study was presented on 29 March 2012 during a public conference in Berne.
Problems with physician-assisted suicide
«Health Services Research» funding programme launched by the Bangerter-Stiftung and the SAMS
Health services research seeks to bridge the gap between biomedical/clinical research on the one hand and medical interventions performed under everyday conditions on the other; the subject of this field of research is, as it were, the «last mile» to the patient. Health services research is becoming increasingly important at the international level. With the aid of this funding programme, the Bangerter-Stiftung and the SAMS hope that health services research will also become more widely established in Switzerland.
To this end, the Bangerter-Stiftung is making available around CHF 1 million per year for the period 2012–2016.
Media release PDF
Change of Management at the Swiss Clinical Trial Organisation (SCTO)
The SCTO is the umbrella organisation of clinical research in Switzerland. The first Managing Director of the SCTO, Dr Claudia Weiss, has resigned her post by the end of October 2011 in order to take up new career challenges.
As her successor, the SCTO Steering Board has appointed pharmacist and experienced leadership personality Mrs Annette Magnin. Holding a leading role within a contract research organisation over many years, Mrs Magnin has gained profound knowledge of operative clinical research and training of clinical professionals. Besides, she is active in various functional and political committees. Mrs Annette Magnin is married and mother of a 11 year old daughter. She is expected to start in her new role by February 1st, 2012. In the meantime, Dr Katrin Crameri, Head of Department Science and Research at the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences (SAMS), is taking over the executive duties of the SCTO.
Further information concerning the SCTO is available under www.scto.ch/en
Pre-implementation Genetic Diagnosis: The Academies consider the law draft a step in the right direction
There are considerable improvements identifiable versus the first draft in 2009. Moreover, the proposed amendment of Article 119 of the Federal Constitution is significant; the relevant framework conditions to implement PGD in Switzerland are thereby accomplished.
EASAC report on the occasion of the World Health Day 2011
The European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) have recently published a report on this topic: «European public health and innovation policy for infectious disease - the view from EASAC».
The EASAC is an umbrella organisation of the scietific academies in Europe; the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences are also a member of the EASAC.
The report and the corresponding press release can be downloaded here:
New position paper of the Ethics Committee for Animal Experimentation: The dignity of animals and the evaluation of interests in the Swiss Animal Protection Act
«Research with Human Subjects» - A manual for general practice PDF
In the opinion of the SAMS, the present efforts of the Federal Government to draw up a Constitutional Article and a corresponding Law on Research in Human Subjects are very much to be welcomed. In connection with this new legislation, the SAMS has again intensively investigated the basic legal and ethical conditions concerning research with human subjects, and arrived at the conclusion that the guidelines «Research Studies in Human Subjects» have been superseded by the development in the legislation, and consequently withdrew these guidelines in November 2008. They were however not withdrawn without replacement and they are in fact replaced by this present Manual on Research with Human Subjects. In accordance with SAMS tradition, this manual is intended to provide researchers and members of research ethics committees with support in their various demanding activities.