Funding

20.01.2022

The KZS Fund supports 3 projects with a focus on resource scarcity

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The call for proposals of the Käthe Zingg-Schwichtenberg Fund focused in 2021 on the topic of «Access to medical and nursing care in the event of resource scarcity». Out of the 11 submitted applications, 3 were retained for funding for a total of 270’336 francs.

With the 2021 call for proposals, the SAMS wanted to broaden the debate around the triage of patients: the Covid-19 pandemic has clearly shown that questions of distribution equity affected further areas of healthcare in the institutional and outpatient sector, even before admission to the intensive care unit. The 3 supported projects will seek to understand how the experience of the pandemic has changed – and is still changing – perceptions and judgements on equity and distribution debates in the event of resource scarcity. The synopsis (pdf) offers an overview of all the projects supported by the KZS Fund. You will find more information on our website.

Synopsis (PDF)

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Funding

13.01.2022

Neuroscience: Théodore Ott Prize 2022 for Prof. Burkhard Becher

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The Théodore Ott Prize 2022 is awarded to Burkhard Becher, Professor at the Institute of Experimental Immunology at the University of Zurich. The SAMS recognizes the originality and quality of his scientific work as well as its exceptional translational impact. The prize is endowed with CHF 50’000 and awarded every five years.

Prof. Becher has identified key molecular mechanisms in the progression of chronic inflammatory brain diseases, such as in multiple sclerosis and brain cancer. With his research group, he has developed state-of-the-art tools that have brought about groundbreaking insights into diverse pathological processes where inflammation is involved. The award ceremony will take place on 2 June 2022 in Bern. Further information on the laureate and on the prize can be found in the media release published today and on our website.

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Academy

06.01.2022

No to a ban on animal and human experimentation

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On 13 February 2022, the federal popular initiative «Yes to the ban on animal and human experimentation – Yes to safe and progressive research approaches» will be put to the vote. The SAMS recommends to reject the initiative. The media release published today by the Association of Swiss University Medicine (unimedsuisse) summarises the main arguments for this rejection in clear terms.

Switzerland has a comprehensive legal framework to ensure responsible medical research. University hospitals and medical faculties emphasise that the adoption of the initiative would make research involving humans and animals impossible in the future. All patients, especially
those with serious and chronic diseases who urgently need better medical treatment methods, would have to bear serious consequences. You can find more information (in French or in German) in the PDF or on the unimedsuisse website.

Media release (in French) (PDF)

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Ethics

02.01.2022

The SAMS guidelines in use: Examples from everyday clinical practice

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The SAMS has been developing medical-ethical guidelines for over 50 years. These provide a theoretical basis and practical guidance on ethically challenging situations in everyday clinical practice. In the journal «Primary and Hospital Care», the SAMS guidelines are illustrated with concrete practical examples – the series is now available on our website in French and German.

Medical-ethical guidelines need to be put to the test in practice. In this context, not only one's own experiences are important, but also those of professional colleagues. For this reason, «Primary and Hospital Care» has published a series of case studies since 2018 in which various SAMS guidelines are applied in practice. Previous topics have included advance care planning, palliative care, coercive measures in medicine and the medical care of people with dementia.

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Ethics

01.01.2022

Consultation: Guidelines on the collaboration of the medical profession with industry

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Collaboration between healthcare professionals and industry has long been established, contributes to medical progress, and is fundamentally in the interest of good healthcare. At the same time, it can entail dependencies and lead to conflicts of interest. The SAMS addresses this issue in the guidelines «Collaboration between the medical profession and industry». These guidelines have been updated and are open for public consultation from 29 November 2021 until 25 February 2022.

A broad-based subcommittee of the SAMS Central Ethics Committee has updated the guidelines from 2013. The new title «Collaboration between healthcare professionals, responsible persons in healthcare organisations and industry» shows that the scope of the guidelines no longer focuses on the medical profession, but concerns all healthcare professionals. Interested organisations and individuals are invited to comment. Further information and the documents for the statement can be found on our website.

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Academy

23.12.2021

The SAMS remains true to its mission

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Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the SAMS's activities have taken on an additional focus. The changed vaccination and infection situation necessitated a further amendment of the guidelines on intensive care triage under exceptional resource scarcity. Nevertheless, it was also possible to carry out numerous other tasks in 2021. Thanks to a highly motivated team and the broad network based on a militia system, we can look back on a diverse, intensive year.

Advance Care Planning, the call for National Data Streams or the publication of the White Paper Clinical Research followed by the launch of a national Coordination Platform are some of the milestones of the past year. To all those who follow our activities or support us with their knowledge and skills, we wish a peaceful holiday season and above all a healthy 2022, despite the continuing challenging situation. Your General Secretariat.

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SPHN

16.12.2021

SPHN: Guidance for ethical sharing of health data

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The Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN) is committed to enabling the responsible use of health data in a harmonized, ethically and legally compliant manner. To support SPHN funded projects, that aim to establish public-private partnerships (PPPs), the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications advisory group (ELSIag) of SPHN recently developed a guidance document.

During the first funding period of SPHN (2017–2020), collaborations of the network were largely focused on public institutions such as the university hospitals and academic research institutions. For the second phase of SPHN (2021–2024), it is likely that partnerships also with private actors will be realized. Such partnerships between publicly funded institutions and private providers in medical research are not new. The guidelines aim to support researchers with the negotiation of ethically robust, patient privacy conserving and fair conditions for PPPs. More information on ELSI activities can be found can be found on the SPHN website.

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Ethics

09.12.2021

Recommendations for addressing the concept of «futility» in medicine

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Ineffective treatment is a part of medicine. Often this topic is summarized with the generic notion of medical futility. Assessing whether therapy is indicated in an individual case remains challenging and is not always free from value judgments. The SAMS has dealt with this topic in-depth and published recommendations.

Various medical-ethical guidelines of the SAMS deal with situations of ineffectiveness and its associated dilemmas. Based on discussions that intensified during the pandemic, the SAMS Central Ethics Committee decided to develop recommendations. These recommendations offer orientation for practice and aim to encourage a discussion on how to deal with ineffectiveness and unlikelihood of benefit. The recommendations are available in printed form in three languages (e/g/f) and can also be downloaded in each language from our website.

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