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Ethics Commission of Cologne University’s Faculty of Medicine

The Ethics Commission of the Faculty of Medicine of Cologne University is an autonomous institution not subject to any directives. Its task is to evaluate all clinical studies conducted at the University, or supervised from here, under the aspects of research ethics and law, and to advise physicians and other scientists at the Faculty in legal matters concerning the medical profession and in questions of professional ethics. The institution and its modes of procedure are regulated in the Statute of the Ethics Commission (Official Notice 47/2005). Pursuant to the Ministerial Order of 22 November 2006, members of the Medical Faculty who do not work full-time at the University, such as externally employed private lecturers (Privatdozenten) and professors, do not fall within the Ethic Commission’s area of responsibility.

The Ethics Commission of the Faculty of Medicine possesses the registration required to provide consultancy for studies involving medical products. In addition, our Commission is also registered with the German Federal Radiation Protection Authority as set out under Section 92 of the German Radiation Protection Ordinance and Section 28g of the German X-Ray Ordinance.

Necessary advances in medicine are reliant upon trials on living humans. Nevertheless, the personal rights and health interests of the individual subjects or patients take precedence over the quest for knowledge on behalf of the general public.

Ethic commissions are instituted by medical associations, faculties of medicine as well as, in some German states, by state health authorities. They are committed to the following tasks:

  • Protection of volunteers and patients in clinical trials and patients against dangerous research
  • Protection of researchers, in their drive for increased knowledge, from overstepping the boundaries of what is ethically admissible
  • Safeguarding research institutions from the detrimental effects of legally and ethically questionable research