This project aims at establishing a standardised European information and database network in the fields of medical ethics, ethics in the health professions, and in health care. It will help facilitate:
1. a professionally organised exchange of information across the borders of individual European countries;
2. the comparison and analysis between European countries of different ethical viewpoints and standards; and
3. the realisation of a European consensus (eg Bioethics Convention of the Council of Europe).
As a centralised facility the network will provide the information infrastructure for other BIOMED projects and research in these fields, and it may help solve problems which can arise from the lack of uniformity in regulations or administrative arrangements in the member countries of the European Union.
Previous studies and surveys have shown that there is a considerable information technology deficit in the field of biomedical ethics in European countries, especially if compared with other scientific fields with available databases. Up until now, the principal online databases have been BIOETHICSLINE, created by the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Washington D.C., which contains mainly US literature, and ETHMED, created by the Information and Documantation Centre of the Academy for Ethics in Medicine, Göttingen, Germany. The Göttingen database has been made compatible with BIOETHICSLINE.
In the European Database Network, each partner institution from the four participating countries (France, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden) will establish or develop its national database. These databases will contain references to national documents such as journal articles, books, 'grey literature' and legal texts of interdisciplinary fields concerned with medical ethics. These national databases will be joined together into a unified database network that will provide various information services such as searches for literature on individual topics, bibliographies, newsletters or information about experts. The 'European Directory of Bioethics' (produced in the BIOMED I project 'Biomedical Ethics in Europe: Inventory, Analysis, Information') will be integrated into the network to provide refrences to experts and institutions working in the field of bioethics.
The network will be structured in a way that will enable other national databases to connect to the network at later dates.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
6500 HB Nijmegen
107 26 Stockholm