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Committee on Bioethics (DH-BIO)

On 1 January 2012, following the reorganisation of intergovernmental bodies at the Council of Europe, the Committee on Bioethics (DH-BIO) has taken over the responsibilities of the Steering Committee on Bioethics (CDBI) for the tasks assigned by the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine as well as for the intergovernmental work on the protection of human rights in the field of biomedicine. The reorganisation results also in creating a closer link between the DH-BIO and the Steering Committee on Human Rights (CDDH).

In 1985 the Ad hoc Committee of experts on Bioethics (CAHBI), set up under the direct authority of the Committee of Ministers, was responsible for the intergovernmental activities of the Council of Europe in the field of bioethics. In 1992, it became the Steering Committee on Bioethics (CDBI).

The work of CAHBI, and then of the CDBI, has led to the adoption of Recommendations of the Committee of Ministers (see Appendix I) and to the preparation of the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine , the first international treaty in this field (adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 19 November 1996; entry into force on 1 December 1999) as well as

  • the additional Protocol on the Prohibition of Cloning Human Beings (adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 6 November 1997, entry into force on 1 March 2001);
  • the additional Protocol concerning Transplantation of Organs and Tissues of Human Origin (adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 8 November 2001, came into force on 1 May 2006);
  • the additional Protocol on Biomedical Research (adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 30 June 2004, entered into force on 1 September 2007); and
  • the Protocol concerning Genetic Testing for Health Purposes (adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 7 May 2008, opened for signature on 27 November 2008).