Mandate and statutes
The Swedish National Council on Medical Ethics (Smer) is a national body with an independent status within the Government offices. Administratively, the council is affiliated with the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs. The council is an advisory board to the Swedish government and parliament on ethical issues raised by scientific and technological advances in biomedicine. The council shall stimulate exchange of information and ideas and promote discussion on new medical research and applications.
Members of the council represent the eight major political parties of Sweden, as well as agencies and interest groups working with various aspects of health and medical care. The expert members represent Medicine, Law and Philosophy. Members are appointed by the Minister of Health and Social Affairs, based on nominations from the eight major political parties of Sweden, and from agencies and interest groups. The expert members are appointed based on professional expertise and recognition.
The council meets on a regular basis. Issues that are disucssed may either have been referred to the council, or may have been identified by the council itself. Special experts are often invited to hearings and seminars with the council. The discussions may result in an official statement of opinion, which is most frequently addressed to the Minister of Health and Social Affairs.
The work of the council is supported by a secretariat.
Conferences and open hearings
Annually, the council arranges a one-day conference open to health professionals and others with an interest in medical ethics. The council also arranges hearings and seminars on current topics, often in collaboration with the Swedish Advisory Board on Gene Technology, the Swedish Research Council, and the Swedish Society of Medicine (approximately four such activities per year).
If you need further information about the council please contact the secretariat.