Founded in 1996, the Israel Academy’s Bioethics Advisory Committee investigates ethical, legal and social issues relating to biology, and particularly to genetics, the Human Genome Project and the post-genomic era.
The Committee’s first report, issued in 2001, examined the use of human embryonic stem cells in medical research.
In that report, the Committee recommended the use of stem cells for research, subject to ethical guidelines of its own determination; to principles of morality and human dignity already accepted in Israel; and to the safeguards laid down in the United Nations “Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights (1999).”
The Committee has proposed that the Israeli government adopt its recommendations and pass appropriate legislation.
The Committee’s second report, issued in 2002, dealt with the subject of large collections of DNA samples and databases of genetic information from the population. Its findings and recommendations may be viewed at the link below:
The Committee recommended that collections and databases of this kind be established in both the public and the private sector in Israel, under the supervision of a statutory public agency. This would enable the beneficial use of information obtained from Israel’s exceptional collection of well-defined subpopulations, while guarding against possible abuse and ensuring conformance with Israeli and international administrative and ethical standards.
For the Bioethics comittee website press here