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Establishment of a European information network for the field of ethics in medicine, in health professions and in health care

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European co-operation creates ethical information database

Several European countries have joined together to produce a comprehensive database of literature concerning ethics in medicine and biomedicine.

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The database is freely available for consultation on the World Wide Web. The project, brings together literature about biomedical ethics, began in 1996, involving representatives from Germany, Sweden, France and The Netherlands. The project partners developed a strategy for collecting, analysing and indexing any relevant information. This information was drawn from diverse sources, including published literature, laws and decrees, conferences, and the Internet. From these sources, the EUROETHICS databank was created. This resource contains more than twelve thousand entries and it continues to expand. A contract signed by the project partners ensures its ongoing development in the foreseeable future. The databank is currently accessed on the World Wide Web (http://www.spri.se/spriline/sokforie.htm) nearly a hundred times a day, and has also led to the creation of an e-mail discussion forum. Projects such as this are good examples of the co-operative potential of the European Union, and there will certainly be more of this type of dissemination of information in the future.

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