Coronavirus: recommendations for Palliative Care

The coronavirus infection threatens the entire population but the most at risk for serious and fatal courses are elderly people, who are often multimorbid and frail. Severe diseases with an unfavourable prognosis and mortality situations require good palliative care for the people concerned.

The current pandemic situation and the publication of the SAMS and SGI guidelines have encouraged the Association for Geriatric Palliative Medicine (FGPG) to develop additional practice-oriented recommendations. The SAMS welcomes this step and also makes the document (d/f/i/e) available on its website.

Download the recommendations for palliative care (PDF)

Further information



Covid-19 pandemic: guidelines for triage in intensive care units

Due to the speed at which the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is spreading in Switzerland, an emergency situation has occurred which will lead to a massive flux of patients into acute hospitals. The Swiss Society for Intensive Care Medicine (SGI) and the SAMS publish joint guidelines for rationing decisions in intensive care units.

The burden placed on medical staff in intensive care units (ICU) is very high. This makes it all the more important that uniform criteria for ICU admission and continued occupancy are applied throughout Switzerland. The new guidelines form the basis for such decisions. The guidelines supplement the SAMS Guidelines «Intensive-care interventions» (2013). Patients with COVID-19 and other patients requiring intensive care are treated according to the same criteria.

Further information



We are here for you – working from home

The SAMS General Secretariat is working from home until further notice. You can contact our collaborators by email or through their direct phone number. Full contact details can be found on our website or by clicking on the link below.

Postmail will be checked regularly but not daily. Please send us a copy of any urgent correspondence as a file attached to an e-mail to Thank you for your understanding.

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Covid-19: bottleneck situations in intensive care units

The situation in Italy shows how rapidly the situation around the coronavirus can change. Due to the speed at which the virus is spreading in Switzerland, bottlenecks could occur in intensive care units. The SAMS addressed this situation in its medical-ethical guidelines «Intensive-care interventions» (2013). These guidelines are still valid and can help doctors to orient themselves.

In a first phase, measures such as restrictive admission of patients, restriction of elective procedures or patient transfer can free up sufficient capacity for patients with pulmonary insufficiency. If an emergency situation arises with a large number of critically ill patients, rationing decisions will have to be made. It is important that these decisions are understandable and fair and that comparable criteria are applied throughout Switzerland for admission to and keeping patients in intensive care units. In order to alleviate the burden on doctors, the SAMS describes the criteria according to which ethically justifiable triage should be carried out in its medical-ethical guidelines «Intensive-care interventions».

Excerpt from the medical-ethical guidelines (chap. 9.3.) (PDF)

See the guidelines



KZS Fund call for proposals for young researchers in biomedical ethics

In 2020, the SAMS is providing a total of CHF 250’000.– from the Käthe-Zingg-Schwichtenberg Fund (KZS Fund) to support junior researchers in biomedical ethics who wish to carry out an independent research project with a Seed Grant. The submission deadline is 30 April 2020.

Contributions for 2020 from the KZS Fund are provided to junior researchers aiming at an academic career in biomedical, clinical or public health ethics. Up to CHF 50’000.– can be awarded per Seed Grant to explore innovative research ideas, to realize a small, independent pilot project or to prepare a project proposal to be submitted to a larger funding agency. Details on the call and procedure for submission can be found on our website.

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Autonomy in Medicine: Reflections on Happiness and Outlook

What is the relationship between happiness and medicine? And what is the connection between happiness and self-determination in medicine? Answers to these questions are provided in the latest conference volume from the cycle «Autonomy in Medicine». Based on the findings of this five-year cycle of reflection, recommendations for medical practice are currently being elaborated.

Autonomy is considered an essential condition for a happy life. What a person perceives as «happiness» in the sense of a successful life should therefore be reflected in all important decisions. Medicine, which often touches on existential questions, is no exception to this principle. The report «Autonomy and Happiness» (German/French) reflects the presentations and discussions of the symposium held in summer 2019. All the documents related to the five symposiums can be found on our website.

Download the report (German/French) (PDF)

Further information



Discover the new website of the Swiss Personalized Health Network

The Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN), a national initiative led by the SAMS in collaboration with the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, has launched its new website. The new website combines previous contents with the activities of the SIB Personalized Health Informatics Group. All information and documents related to the initiative can now be found in one place.

The website is currently available in English. Translation of selected pages into German and French will follow shortly. Would you like to get a brief overview of the initiative? Download the SPHN Fact-Sheet.

SPHN Fact-Sheet 2019 (PDF)

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New study on the obstacles and driving forces of interprofessional collaboration

Today, well-functioning interprofessional teams are considered an important component of a sustainable healthcare system. However, practical implementation is lagging behind. This discrepancy requires some explanation, which a new SAMS publication is attempting to address.

The new study draws a parallel with the theory of complex systems. According to this model, systems tend towards a state of equilibrium, that corresponds to the professional «normal case». Interprofessional collaboration, on the other hand, means a «deviation». Therefore, not only the basic model changes, but also a new equilibrium must be achieved. On the basis of semi-directive interviews with various health professionals, the authors identify the forces of liaison and opposition in these situations. You can download the electronic version or order a printed brochure free of charge.

Download the study (German, with a summary in French) (PDF)

Other publications



Robert Bing Prize in neurosciences 2020: call for applications

Every two years, the SAMS awards the Robert Bing Prize for outstanding achievements in neurosciences from the fund established by the Basel neurologist Robert Bing. The call for proposals is open until 31 March 2020.

Scientists and physicians (up to 45 years) doing research in basic, translational or clinical neurosciences are eligible for the Prize. Candidates should be Swiss or have been working in Switzerland for a significant amount of time. The prize amounts to CHF 50'000.–, the next submission deadline is 31 March 2020. For detailed information about the application procedure, please visit the Bing Prize website.

Synopsis of past laureates (PDF)

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Study on Clinical Preceptorship for Advanced Nurse Practitioners

The SAMS publishes a study on Clinical Preceptorship for Advanced Nurse Practitioners MSc, a new professional profile in our country. Based on scientific literature and numerous expert interviews, Prof. Iren Bischofberger and her colleagues have drawn several recommendations for practice, education and policy.

Until sufficiently experienced peers are available, it is the physicians who provide clinical preceptorship. The study commissioned by the SAMS shows, among other things, how this mentoring goes hand in hand with new educational tasks for physicians and how it transforms interprofessional collaboration. The study is published in German with a summary in French. You can download the electronic version or order a printed brochure free of charge.

Clinical Preceptorship for Advanced Nurse Practitioners MSc (in German) (PDF)

Other publications



Stern-Gattiker Prize 2020 for female role models in academic medicine

For the second time, the SAMS is launching a call for nominations for the Stern-Gattiker Prize to acknowledge the role of women in academic medicine and to motivate early-career female scientists. The Prize carries an award of CHF 15,000, the deadline for submission is 3 March 2020.

With the Stern-Gattiker Prize, the SAMS rewards every two years a female medical scientist who has obtained her postdoctoral qualification within the past ten years, holds a permanent position as a senior hospital physician, and who, in her own way, is considered as a role model. The proximity to the next generation of doctors and the commitment to gender equality are a plus. Detailed information on the nomination process can be found on our website.

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Prof. Henri Bounameaux will be the new president of the SAMS

The year 2020 will be a year of change for the SAMS. On 1 May, Daniel Scheidegger will hand over the presidency to his successor Henri Bounameaux, who was unanimously elected to this position by the Senate. Daniel Scheidegger will remain with the Academy as Vice-President.

Henri Bounameaux knows the SAMS very well. An individual member of the Senate since 2015, he joined the Executive Committee one year later and became Vice-President in 2019. He has participated in several SAMS working groups and represents the institution in external bodies. In his speech to the Senate, Henri Bounameaux emphasized that his programme would be that of the Academy, because: «Presidents pass, the Academy lasts». Get to know the new president better by reading his interview in Bulletin 1/2020 which will be published in March 2020. The current composition of the Executive Board can be found on our website.

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The SAMS is looking for a new Head, Ethics Department

The position of Head of the Ethics Department in the SAMS General Secretariat is vacant. Together with research funding, ethics is one of the two pillars of the SAMS and contributes to its national influence, particularly in the form of medical-ethical guidelines.

If you have a university degree, are trained in medical ethics, think strategically and conceptually, this position may be the right one for you. For details and contact information, please refer to the full text of the advertisement. The deadline for applications is Friday, 7 February 2020.

Download the advertisement (German) (PDF)


lic. phil. Franziska Egli