Strasbourg, 27 October 2022 CDBIO/INF(2022)15
FOR HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE FIELDS OF BIOMEDECINE AND HEALTH (CDBIO)
COMITÉ DIRECTEUR POUR LES DROITS DE L'HOMME
DANS LES DOMAINES DE LA BIOMÉDECINE ET DE LA SANTÉ
Developments in the field of bioethics
in member states and other states
Développements dans le domaine de la bioéthique
dans les Etats membres et les autres Etats
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE DES MATIERES
Opinions and Recommendations of the Austrian Bioethics Commission 2020/2021/2022
COVID-19-specific Opinions and Recommendations of the Bioethics Commission
A pandemic is not a private matter (Opinion, October 2021)
Vaccination against COVID-19 as a prerequisite for practicing a medical or healthcare profession (Opinion, May 2021)
Legal and ethical questions in connection with people who have been vaccinated or who have recovered from infection during the COVID-19 pandemic (Opinion, April 2021)
Ethical questions about vaccination against COVID-19 (Opinion, November 2020)
Influenza vaccine supply for the Austrian population in the 2020/21 season (Recommendation, October 2020)
Contact tracing in the COVID-19 pandemic (Opinion, June 2020)
Vaccination against diseases for which there are approved vaccines in times of the COVID-19 pandemic (Recommendation, June 2020)
Management of scarce resources in healthcare in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic (Opinion, March 2020)
The Climate Crisis as an Ethical Challenge (Opinion, May 2022)
The Austrian Bioethics Commission as a scientific advisory body- an inventory on the occasion of its 20th anniversary (Opinion, June 2021)
The work of physicians at the interface of big data, artificial intelligence and human experience (Opinion, May 2020)
In addition, the Commission adopted two opinions regarding the design of new federal law. Since these were matters with predominantly national concern and a certain urgency was given, an English translation is not available.
Opinion of the Austrian Bioethics Commission regarding the federal law on a compulsory vaccination against COVID-19 (Opinion, January 2022)
Opinion of the Austrian Bioethics Commission regarding the federal law on assisted dying and the associated amendments of criminal law as well as the federal narcotic drugs act (Opinion, November 2021)
The most important task for the Czech Republic this year is the EU presidency, in the healthcare area especially the new BTC legislation.
There have been no legislative changes in the area of bioethics, but we expect changes in the laws next year and the following years.
Law on bodily material
A proposal for law on the use and control of bodily material (Wet zeggenschap lichaamsmateriaal) has been approved by the council of ministers and has been presented to Parliament (May 2021). Parliament will discuss this proposal and may amend it. The proposal regulates the permission, obtaining, storage, and use of bodily material for other purposes than the medical treatment of the donor himself. The discussing by parliament is not yet scheduled.
Human Fertilisation (Donor Information) Act
There are no relevant updates since the last update we sent you in May 2021. The legislative process which started after the evaluation, is still running.
Surrogacy is currently not regulated, apart from a prohibition of (commercial) mediation for surrogacy. Currently there is a new legal framework in preparation. We expect a draft bill to be sent to parliament for adoption at the end of 2022/beginning of 2023.
Termination of Pregnancy Act
In the Netherlands, the Termination of Pregnancy Act came into effect in 1984. This law allows hospitals and abortion clinics that have a license issued under the law, may terminate pregnancy up to the viability limit (24 weeks). In 2018 and 2021, two member (of parliament) bills were submitted to amend the law.
The MP’s Bill first bill, submitted February 22th, 2018, makes it possible to provide the abortion pill(s) via the general practitioner in an accessible manner. To this end, the exception to the criminality of termination of pregnancy that currently applies to abortion doctors and doctors in a hospital or an abortion clinic will be extended to termination of early pregnancies (up to 8 weeks and 6 days) via the general practitioner. The aim of the proposal is to meet the freedom of choice of women who have an unwanted pregnancy to terminate the pregnancy with medication from a trusted care provider.
The proposal has now been discussed by the House of Representatives (February and March 2022) and was adopted by a majority of votes on March 15th, 2022. The next step is a hearing in the Senate. This is expected to take place in the fall or winter of 2022.
The second MP’s Bill, submitted February 23th, 2021, aims to abolish the mandatory minimum deliberation period of five days as laid down in the Termination of Pregnancy Act. Various studies have shown that without a mandatory minimum deliberation period, women and doctors are well able to make a well-considered and careful decision. It is therefore proposed that instead of a mandatory minimum deliberation period, after joint consultation between the woman and doctor, such a reflection period should be observed as necessary to arrive at a well-considered and careful decision.
The proposal has now been discussed by the House of Representatives (January and February 2022) and was adopted by a majority of votes on February 10th, 2022. The hearing in the Senate took place on June 14th, 2022. The Senate adopted the proposal by a majority of votes on June 21st, 2022. The bill will go into force as of January 1st, 2023.
 This document contains contributions in their original language. / Ce document contient les contributions dans leur langue d’origine.