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About us

 Lithuanian Bioethics Committee is a governmental institution, which aims to promote and protect human rights and dignity in the field of healthcare. The Committee was established in 1995 following the provisions of the Law on Health Care System. It has been founded and its Statute approved by the Ministry of Health.

Taking into account limited resources available to deal with bioethical issues in the country, the Lithuanian Bioethics Committee takes responsibility for the two broad areas of activities:

- To inform biomedical community and general public on ethical issues and moral dilemmas arising in the context of modern health care.

- To facilitate the protection of patients' rights in the field of biomedical research and to coordinate the ethical review of biomedical research projects in Lithuania.

The Lithuanian Bioethics Committee provides methodological support for the regional research ethics committees as well as for the hospital ethics committees. The Committee is also involved in organizing workshops and conferences as well as translating, publishing and disseminating materials on biomedical ethics within the biomedical community and the broader society.

The institution consists of the administrative staff and two boards of experts, namely, the Group of Experts of Biomedical Research and the Bioethics Board. The Committee is managed by the Director.

The mandate of the Group of Experts on Biomedical Research is to conduct a multidisciplinary review and to issue approvals for biomedical research projects, including clinical drug trials. The Group consists of 9 members  (5 professionals of biomedical sciences, 4 professionals holding a degree in the area of social sciences or humanities) appointed by the Minister of Health for four years time period. It should, however, be noted that the approvals to conduct biomedical research projects which take place in a particular region of the country are issued by the Regional Research Ethics Committees.

The Bioethics Board deals with a broader scope of bioethical issues. It serves as a consultative body in the process of drafting normative documents related to the complex ethical issues in healthcare. It is also engaged in promoting public debate on bioethical issues as well as identifying the benchmarks for the future activities of the Committee.

The members of the Board are appointed by the Minister of Health for four years time period upon the recommendation of the Director of the Lithuanian Bioethics Committee. The Board is composed proportionally of the representatives of biomedical sciences and humanities. Since 2020 it consists of 17 members, representing different backgrounds (biomedicine, law, psychology, philosophy, bioethics).

The Lithuanian Bioethics Committee has its own budget to support the administrative staff and cover the expenses of its main activities.

Last updated: 05-12-2023