Deutscher Ethikrat

Press Release

Ethics Council: germline interventions currently too risky, but not ethically out of the question

On 9 May 2019, the German Ethics Council published a comprehensive ethical investigation into possible interventions in the genome of human embryos or germ cells.

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Press Release

Between self-determination and solidarity: Ethics Council debated opt-out system for organ donation

On Wednesday, 12 December, the German Ethics Council discussed the advantages and disadvantages of opt-out organ donation at a public evening event.

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Press Release

Application of germline editing currently not ethically justifiable

The birth of two genetically modified girls claimed on Monday, 26 November 2018, by the Chinese researcher Jiankui He by means of germline editing represents a serious violation of ethical obligations according to the view of the German Ethics Council.

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When may people be protected from themselves?

The German Ethics Council has published its Opinion "Help through coercion? Professional Caring Relations in Conflict Between Welfare and Autonomy".

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Welcome to the German Ethics Council

The German Ethics Council deals with the great questions of life. With its opinions and recommendations, it provides orientation for society and politics. The members are appointed by the President of the German Bundestag.

The German Ethics Council was constituted on April 11, 2008 on the basis of the Ethics Council Act and succeeded the National Ethics Council established by the Federal Government in 2001. In the first ten years the  German Ethics Council published 15 opinions on topics such as  anonymous relinquishment, intersexuality, preimplantation genetic diagnosis, genetic diagnostics, patient well beeing and Big Data. He has thus earned great recognition as an important and appreciated source of impetus for advising politicians and the general public.


Current Topics

Interventions in the human germline

New molecular techniques collectively referred to as genome editing allow remarkably easy, fast, and precise changes in the genome and make interventions in the human germline in the near future seem technically feasible.

Vaccination as a duty?

Vaccinations are among the most successful preventive measures in medicine. Especially against many infectious diseases caused by viruses, which even today can only be treated symptomatically, vaccinations are the most important option to protect against potentially severe health risks.

Benevolent coercion

At the moment, the German Ethics Council is working on an Opinion concerning the following questions: What forms of coercion can be identified? What role do coercive measures play in the mentioned practical fields? How is this ethically and legally problematic and where is a need for change in legislation and practical application?


Publications