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Recommended guidelines for untried treatment methods


The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Swedish Society of Medicine’s ethical investigation recommends guidelines regarding untried treatment methods.

Together with a new national committee for assessment av untried treatment methods a number of guidelines will hopefully create a transparent situation which could contribute to remaining and enforcing the public’s faith in the healthcare system.

Because of the Macchiarini case the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Swedish Society of Medicine appointed February 25 an investigation in order to clarify the rules and in order to supply guidelines for researchers and doctors working in the borderline between research and advanced healthcare. This investigation is now finished and brings concrete recommendations and guideline proposals. For example they propose the establishment of a national committee for assessment of untried treatment methods and that guidelines for the use of untried treatment methods on seriously ill patients must  be determined. This will implicate:

  • That a common national assessment of an untried treatment can be used on a seriously ill patient and to bring knowledge about what is regarded as research and what is regarded as healthcare.
  • Conflicts of interest will be easier to avoid compared to a local assessment at the hospital in focus.
  • The evaluation will be made by experienced clinics/researchers together with ethicists, lawyers and experts within the specific area.

Together with a number of guidelines a transparent situation will be created which may contribute to the public’s faith in healthcare. The guidelines will foremost ensure that the patient is secured against hazardous actions. The principle of human value means that all human have the same value in the healthcare system. Seriously ill or dying patients may never be reduced to objects of experiments but also never be deprived access to untired methods which could mean treatment or relief. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Swedish Society of Medicine’s proposed guidelines will hopefully create conditions where these purposes can be achieved.

Photo: Fredrik All. Copyright: Kungliga Vetenskapsakademin