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All Swedish ethical review within one authority proposed

helene hellmark knutsson

The Swedish Department of Education has submitted a proposal for consulatation for a new organization for ethical review of research.

In the memorandum it is suggested among other things that the six regional ethical review boards, where each and every one of them is a separate authority, are to be liquidated. Instead the memo suggests that ethical reviews of humans are to be gathered within one authority, called The Swedish Ethical Review Authority. The purpose is to increase efficiency and create a more unified application of regulations through co-ordination and matter allocation.

It is suggested that the new authority should be divided into six regional operations in Gothenburg, Linköping, Stockholm, Umeå and Uppsala, and replace today’s regional boards. Every region is to have one or several departments and as before, the departments should independently take decisions in matters.

Matters which are decided by the new authority can be appealed to the Central Ethical Review Board, which is suggested to change name to the Board of Appeal for Ethical Review.

In the memo it is also suggested that the new authority should choose its court and replacement in the different departments but as before, the government designates the chairman and its replacement. A chairman, commissioners and replacements are to be designated for a period of four years and maximum three periods in a row.

This suggestion also means that the ethical review regulations regarding data, organization etc must be changed so that they correspond to the new authority. Coresponding changes must also be made in laws regarding bio banks in the healthcare system for example, the ethical review constitution and in the Swedish Research Council’s instructions. A new regulation with instructions for the Ehical Review Authority is also suggested.

If approved the proposal is to become effective July 1st 2018.