Who to contact? Ethical advisory boards in Finland


Besides TENK there are other advisory boards on research ethics in Finland.

The Finnish National Board on Research Integrity TENK was founded in 1991 to address ethical questions relating to research and to the advancement of research ethics in Finland. The Board shall make proposals and issue statements to governmental authorities on legislative and other matters concerning research ethics, act as an expert body working towards the resolution of ethical issues relating to research, take initiative in advancing research ethics and promote discussion concerning research ethics, monitor international developments in the area and take actively part in international co-operation and inform the public about research ethics.

Certain academic disciplines have their own ethical norms and governing bodies. These boards and committees offer advice on professional ethics in more detail, for example, by offering information on the relationship between the researcher and the research subject. In addition to these boards and committees, some institutions, such as universities, hospitals and universities of applied sciences, have regional and local advisory boards on research integrity.

The Advisory Board on Biotechnology is a consultative body of experts in issues related to bio- and gene technology appointed by the Government for a term of three years. Board aims to promote cooperation between authorities, researchers and operators in biotechnology and in particular gene technology, and we monitor developments and research in gene technology as well as its health and environmental impacts. In addition, board's task is to monitor and promote international cooperation in biotechnology and take into account the ethical considerations of gene technology.

The Board for Gene Technology is the competent authority in Finland regarding the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in accordance with the Gene Technology Act. The Board operates in conjunction with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

The purpose of The National Advisory Board on Social Welfare and Health Care Ethics (ETENE) is to discuss general principles in ethical issues in the field of social welfare and health care and concerning the status of patients and clients as well as to publish recommendations on them. The Advisory Board submits initiatives, publishes statements and provides expert assistance, prompts public debate, and disseminates information on national and international ethical issues in the field of social welfare and health care.

The primary role of the National Committee on Medical Research Ethics (TUKIJA) is to serve as an expert on research ethics and advise regional ethics committees in matters of ethical principle related to medical research, and to provide training. TUKIJA is also responsible for issuing opinions on the ethics of clinical drug trials that are to be run in Finland unless this task is delegated to a regional ethics committee. Upon request, TUKIJA also issues opinions on proposals that have been previously rejected by regional ethics committees.

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