The Swiss Society for Biomedical Ethics (SSBE)

Medical progress has given rise to increasingly complex ethical questions, which challenge specialists in various disciplines, as well as citizens. Reflexion regarding these issues, as well as appropriate decision processes to address them, is crucial in pluralist democratic societies. The Swiss Society for Biomedical Ethics (SSBE) was created on this basis in 1989, to help think through these important issues, and provide space for discussion across disciplinary boundaries.

The goal of the SSBE is to provide a forum where different approaches can be expressed freely, and solutions attempted through respectful interdisciplinary exchange.

For this purpose, the SSBE:

  • addresses fundamental ethical questions in seminars;
  • organises colloquia on controversial ethical issues;
  • publishes the Folia Bioethica, a scientific monograph series;
  • publishes the SGBEbulletinSSEB newsletter twice a year;
  • publishes Bioethica Forum, a peer-reviewed bioethics journal with a section reserved for open discussion, twice a year;
  • conducts summer schools on themes in biomedical ethics; participates in planning and organization of basic and advanced training for Research Ethics Committee members.

As a professional society, it brings together different disciplines with an interest in bioethics, medical or healthcare ethics, but also health policy and law: experts from the medical and health care professions, biologists, philosophers, theologians, sociologists, and lawyers.

The SSBE collaborates closely with the Central Ethics Commission of the Swiss Academy for Medical Sciences (SAMS), and with other institutions such as universities, the Swiss Medical Association, the Swiss Nursing Association, other professional societies and patient associations, while remaining institutionally independent. These goals can be achieved thanks to contributions from its members, and generous donations.