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Shared decision making: patients have a right to be informed about possible treatment options and their risks and benefits

Viewpoint
Rosca A, Krones T, Biller-Andorno N
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20268

Shared decision making is a key concept in the process of working towards high-quality, patient-centred care for all patient populations. It is relevant not only for current care decisions, but also for advance care planning, and it is needed particularly during times of crisis such as we are seeing currently with COVID-19.

Social, cultural and experiential patterning of attitudes and behaviour towards assisted suicide in Switzerland: evidence from a national population-based study

Original article
Vilpert S, Bolliger E, Borrat-Besson C, Borasio GD, Maurer J
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20275

Switzerland has the longest history of the legal practice of non-physician assisted suicide of any country. Assisted suicide is not very tightly regulated in Switzerland, and almost all assisted suicides are supported by a right-to-die organisation.

Deficiencies in paediatric research applications delaying ethics committee approval

Original article
Bergstraesser E, Nadal D, Özgü H, Kleist P
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20267

Careful preparation of submission documents by the investigators and close adherence to formal and legal requirements have the potential to considerably optimise and expedite the ethics committee review process, and thus the commencement of the clinical research.

Medical-ethical recommendations: preimplantation genetic testing PGT

Special article
Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20298

The recommendations of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences (SAMS) are designed to draw attention, from an ethical perspective, to important aspects of the PGT counselling and decision-making situation, and to promote ethical awareness in the performance of PGT. In addition, they discuss how, for example, surplus information should be managed.

Bioethics: stop to think, but don’t stop thinking

Viewpoint
Biller-Andorno N
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20211

We need to mature along with our scientific discoveries, defining in what way we wish to use them. Only then can we claim to master technologies rather than being overwhelmed by them. In order to support this process, bioethics should not get out of the way − on the contrary, it should get viral.

Good rules for ICU admission allow a fair allocation of resources, even in a pandemic

Viewpoint
Suter P
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20230

A set of guidelines concerning ethical, medical and social aspects of triage decisions, as well as of other related problems of the COVID-19 pandemic: In all cases, decisions must be based on sound, transparent and understandable rules.

COVID-19 pandemic: triage for intensive-care treatment under resource scarcity

Special article
Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20229

If insufficient resources are available, rationing decisions will become necessary, placing considerable burdens on medical staff. This makes it all the more important that uniform criteria for ICU admission and continued occupancy should be applied throughout Switzerland.

Recommendations for the admission of patients with COVID-19 to intensive care and intermediate care units (ICUs and IMCUs)

Special article
Swiss Society of Intensive Care Medicine
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20227

The Swiss Society of Intensive Care Medicine (SSIM) has elaborated detailed and coherent guidelines defining the criteria for admission to the ICU in situations of bed shortage.

COVID-19: decision making and palliative care

Special article
Borasio GD, Gamondi C, Obrist M, Jox R, for the COVID-19 task force of palliative ch
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20233

Due to the current development around the COVID-19 pandemic, palliative ch has created a Task Force to provide recommendations for health professionals on the treatment of palliative care patients in the various settings ‒ inpatient and outpatient.

Stay fit or get bit - ethical issues in sharing health data with insurers’ apps

Review article: Biomedical intelligence
Martani A, Shaw D, Elger BS
Swiss Med Wkly. 2019;149:w20089

The fact that some health insurers’ data-sharing apps are based on the monitoring of individual behaviour and the sharing of health-related sensitive personal information raises legal and ethical concerns.

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