Bioethics

Bioethics

The remarkable progress of biomedical sciences and biotechnology, and its applications in medical practice, are confronting our societies with new ethical dilemmas, extending from traditional medical ethics to the many emerging areas of bioethics.

The particular contribution of CIOMS in this field has been the issuance of international guidelines for the application of ethical principles in various key areas. The work started with the Ist CIOMS Round Table Conference “Biomedical Science and the dilemma of Human Experimentation” held  in Paris in 1967. Specific reference should also be made to the “Principles of Medical Ethics Relevant to the Protection of Prisoners Against Torture”, prepared by CIOMS at the invitation of WHO and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in March 1983.
Subsequently CIOMS hosted several important meetings on health policy and ethics, such as:

• Health Policy, Ethics and Human Values: European and North American Perspectives (The Netherlands 1987, published Geneva 1988)

• Ethics and Human Values in Family Planning (Thailand, 1988, published Geneva 1989)

• Health Policy, Ethics and Human Values: An Islamic Perspective (Egypt, 1988, published Geneva 1989)

• Genetics, Ethics and Human Values: Human Genome Mapping, Genetic Screening and Gene Therapy (Japan 1990, published Geneva 1991)

In 1991, CIOMS issued the International Guidelines for Ethical Review of Epidemiological Studies.
Another very important milestone is the International Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research Involving Human Subjects (developed in conjunction with WHO), which superseded Proposed Ethical Guidelines (1982) and were published in 1993. They have been very widely utilized, particularly in low- resource countries. In 1999-2002 the Guidelines were revised and updated. In 2002, CIOMS published the new text of the International Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research Involving Human Subjects. Moreover, translations of the Guidelines have been made into French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese.
A chapter by the late Professor Juhana E. Idänpään-Heikkilä and Mr Sev Fluss, CIOMS, describing the 2002 Guidelines was included in The Oxford Textbook of Clinical Research Ethics.

In 2003, CIOMS initiated the revision of these Guidelines by establishing a multidisciplinary Core Group which collected comments on the draft revision of the guidelines from various institutions, organizations and individual experts involved in ethics and epidemiological research. CIOMS published the new revised and updated text in 2009.

New developments in research prompted CIOMS to once again revise their ethical guidelines. In 2010, the Executive Committee of CIOMS decided to revise the 2002 version of the CIOMS Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research involving human beings. In 2016 new CIOMS ethical Guidelines entitled International ethical guidelines for health-related research involving humans prepared in collaboration with WHO were published. In these guidelines CIOMS provides answers to a number of pressing issues in research ethics. The Council does so by stressing the need for research having scientific and social value, by providing special guidelines for health-related research in low-resource settings, by detailing the provisions for involving vulnerable groups in research and for describing under what conditions biological samples and health-related data can be used for research.  Several publications and events were planned for 2016/2017 to introduce the new Guidelines.

More about the new CIOMS Ethical Guidelines.






Publications by CIOMS in the area of Bioethics

Biomedical Science and the Dilemma of Human Experimentation. Proceedings of the Ist CIOMS Round Table Conference, Paris, France, 7 October 1967 Eds. V. Fattorusso, M. Florkin, CIOMS, Paris, 1968 (109 pages, English, French).

Heart Transplantation. Proceedings of the IInd CIOMS Round Table Conference, Geneva, Switzerland, 13-14 June 1968, Ed. V. Fattorusso, published by Desoer S.A., Liège, Belgium, 1969 (55 pages, English, French).

Recent Progress in Biology and Medicine: Its Social and Ethical Implications. Proceedings of the VIIth CIOMS Round Table Conference, Paris, France, 4-6 September 1972, Ed. S. Btesh, CIOMS, Geneva, 1969 (270 pages, English, French).

Protection of Human Rights in the Light of Scientific and Technological Progress in Biology and Medicine. Proceedings of the VIIIth  CIOMS Round Table Conference, Paris, France, 4-6 September 1972, Ed. S. Btesh, Published by WHO on behalf of CIOMS, Geneva, 1974 (384 pages, English, French)

Medical Ethics and the Protection of Human Rights. Proceedings of the XIIth  CIOMS Round Table Conference, Cascais, Portugal, 30 November- 1 December 1980, Eds. N. Howard-Jones, Z. Bankowski, Published by CIOMS and Sandoz Institute, Geneva, 1980 (249 pages, English, French).

Medical Ethics and Medical Education. XIVth  CIOMS Round Table Conference, Mexico, 1-3 December 1980, Eds.  Z. Bankowski, J. Corvera Bernardelli. CIOMS, Geneva, 1981 (281 pages, English, Spanish).

Human Experimentation and Medical Ethics. Proceedings of the XVth  CIOMS Round Table Conference, Manila,  13-14 September 1981, Eds. Z. Bankowski, N. Howard-Jones. CIOMS, Geneva, 1982 (505 pages, English).

Proposed International Guidelines for Biomedical Research Involving Human Subjects, Ed. Z. Bankowski. CIOMS, Geneva 1982 (49 pages, English French).

Principles of Medical Ethics Relevant to the Protection of Prisoners Against Torture, Ed. Z. Bankowski. CIOMS, Geneva 1983 (47 pages, English French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Arabic).

Biomedical Research Involving Animals – Proposed International Guiding Principles. Proceedings of the XVIIth CIOMS Round Table Conference, Geneva, Switzerland, 8-9 December 1983. Eds. Z. Bankowski, N. Howard-Jones. CIOMS, Geneva, 1984 (211 pages, English).

International Guiding Principles for Biomedical research Involving Animals, Eds. Z. Bankowski, N. Howard-Jones. CIOMS, Geneva, 1985 (28 pages, English, French).

Health Policy, Ethics and Human Values – An International Dialogue. Highlights of the Athens Conference, Eds. Z. Bankowski, J.H. Bryant. CIOMS, Geneva, 1985 (84 pages, English).

Health Policy, Ethics and Human Values – An International Dialogue. Proceedings of the XVIIIth CIOMS Round Table Conference, Athens, Greece, 29 October-2 November 1984. Eds. Z. Bankowski, J.H. Bryant. CIOMS, Geneva, 1985 (336 pages, English).

Battered Children and Child Abuse. Highlights and Recommendations of the CIOMS/WHO Conference, Berne, Switzerland. CIOMS, Geneva, 1986 (19 pages, English).

Battered Children and Child Abuse. Proceedings of the XIXth CIOMS Round Table Conference, Berne, Switzerland,4-6December 1985. Eds. Z. Bankowski, M. Carballo. CIOMS, Geneva, 1986 (174 pages, English).

Health Policy, Ethics and Human Values: European and North American Perspectives. Conference Highlights, Papers and Conclusions, XXIst CIOMS Conference, Noordwijk, The Netherlands, 2-5 June 1987. Eds. Z. Bankowski, J.H. Bryant. CIOMS, Geneva, 1988 (223 pages, English).

Ethics and Human Values in Family Planning. Conference Highlights, Papers and Conclusions, XXIInd CIOMS Conference, Bangkok, Thailand, 19-24 June 1988. Eds. Z. Bankowski, J. Barzelatto, A.M. Capron. CIOMS, Geneva, 1989 (308 pages, English).

Health Policy, Ethics and Human Values: An Islamic Perspective. Reflections on the Cairo Seminar, Cairo, Egypt, 24-25 November 1988. CIOMS, Geneva, 1989 (44 pages, English).

Genetics, Ethics and Human Values: Human Genome Mapping, Genetic Screening and Gene Therapy. Proceedings of the XXIVth CIOMS Round Table Conference, Tokyo, Japan, 22-27 July 1990. Eds. Z. Bankowski, A. M. Capron. CIOMS, Geneva, 1991 (200 pages, English).

Ethics and Epidemiology: International Guidelines. Proceedings of the XXVth CIOMS Round Table Conference, Geneva, Switzerland, 7-9 November 1990. Eds. Z. Bankowski, J.H. Bryant, J.M. Last. CIOMS, Geneva, 1991 (163 pages, English).

International Guidelines for Ethical Review of Epidemiological Studies. Ed. Z. Bankowski. CIOMS, Geneva, 1991 (31 pages, English).

Ethics and Research on Human Subjects: International Guidelines. Proceedings of the XXVIth CIOMS Round Table Conference, Geneva, Switzerland, 5-7 February 1992. Eds. Z. Bankowski, R.J. Levine. CIOMS, Geneva, 1993 (291 pages, English).

International Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research Involving Human Subjects. Ed. Z. Bankowski. CIOMS, Geneva, 1993 (63 pages, English).

Biomedical Research Ethics: Updating International Guidelines. A consultation. Eds. R.J. Levine, S. Gorovitz, J. Gallagher. CIOMS, Geneva, 2000 (295 pages, English).

International Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research Involving Human Subjects. Prepared by CIOMS in collaboration with WHO. CIOMS, Geneva, 2002 (112 pages, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese).

International Ethical Guidelines for Epidemiological Studies. Prepared by CIOMS in collaboration with WHO. CIOMS, Geneva, 2009 (128 pages, English).

International Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research Involving Humans. Prepared by CIOMS in collaboration with WHO. CIOMS, Geneva, 2016 (122 pages, English, French, Spanish).

Bioethics