ELSI Advisory Group

The Ethical, Legal and Social Implications advisory group (ELSIag) addresses ethical, legal and social issues that SPHN will face. It is composed of experts from various relevant fields such as bioethics, life sciences law, social sciences. It also includes representatives of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences (SAMS), swissethics, and patient advocacy groups. 


An overview of the ELSIag's activities and projects can be found here.


Prof. Andrea Büchler

Private and comparative law (University of Zurich)

Dr. med. Susanne Driessen

Research ethics (swissethics)

Prof. Jacques Fellay


David Haerry

Patient advocacy, EUPATI

Prof. Samia Hurst

Bioethics (University of Geneva)

Prof. Beat Rudin

Data protection (Privatim)

Michelle Salathé

Bioethics, health law (Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences)

Prof. Effy Vayena

Bioethics, health policy (ETH Zurich)

Ex officio members

Dr. Caroline Brall

Public health ethics, research ethics, ethics education (ETH Zurich)

Dr. Adrien Lawrence

Managing Director SPHN


The ELSIag has the following duties:


  • develop robust ethical policies anticipating well-known challenges such as that of appropriate informed consent and privacy;
  • develop mechanisms and processes that will be ready to handle issues that have not been anticipated and will require a swift resolution;
  • advice the SEB and NSB in the development of policies for data sharing and managing questions of intellectual property, authorship and attribution according to national and international standards;
  • review projects funded by SPHN and provide guidance to the investigators. The ELSIag reports to the NSB regularly;
  • coordinate with other groups/initiatives who pursue the same goals.


  • Prof. Effy Vayena

Next ELSIag meetings



12 November 2019 (10.05-12.30)

Former members of the ELSIag

Cyrill Berger, Data protection law (Office of the Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner)

Dorothée Caminiti, Health law, bioethics, policy (ex officio)

Prof. Annegret Hannawa, Patient safety, communication science (Università della Svizzera italiana)

Ursula Koch, Patient advocacy (Krebsliga)

Thomas H. Meier, Data protection law (Office of the Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner)

Prof. Francesco Panese, Studies of the relations between science, medicine and society (University of Lausanne)

Prof. Brigitte Tag, Health law, human subject research act (University of Zurich)

Prof. Jacques de Werra, Internet, information and IP laws (University of Geneva)