Sweden was surveyed by the students of Bryant University, RI, USA. Last update: March 2009. Any peer review of data is welcome

Monitoring freedom of research and cure in SWEDEN Table of content: A. Artificial reproduction technologies (ART) B. Research with human embryonic stem cells (hESC) C. End-of-life decisions D. Abortion and contraception Sweden allows its citizens significant freedom to ART, hESC, end-of-life decisions, and abortion and contraception. With few exceptions, Sweden does not outright deny its citizens the specified freedoms. A. Artificial reproduction technologies (ART) Sweden seemingly has considerable freedom in ART. Most of the techniques that are used throughout the world are legal in Sweden. There are some regulatory laws in place that states a certain time frame in which these clinically retained embryos, sperm and oocytes can be held. Sweden does however not allow for donors to donate anonymously. Sweden also prohibits any type of surrogacy agreement. B. Research with human embryonic stem cells (hESC) With the further development of Swedish stem cell research in mind, the Swedish Government has proposed amendments and clarification with regard to stem cell research. Stem cell research is an important field of research, which in the long term can offer the potential to deliver new treatments for serious diseases. To enable further progress in this field, it is essential that research is undertaken in ethically acceptable forms. Medical science, and especially stem cell research, is an area which has been and will continue to be prioritized by the Swedish government. Due to Sweden’s permissive nature it is considered to be a leader in stem cell research. Sweden serves as a haven for many of the world’s top scientist as they can research without excessive regulation. (Remark: According to the UNESCO “Report of IBC on human cloning and international governance�? of June 2009 Law n° 115 on measures for the purposes of research or treatment in connection with fertilized human oocytes of 14 March 1991 as revised on 1 April 2005 (text not found in English) explicitly prohibits human reproductive cloning. The law on 1 April 2005 authorized research on fertilized eggs for purposes other than IVF treatment and research on therapeutic cloning�?). C. End-of-life decisions Sweden shares many common opinions with most of the global community. They believe that physicians must obey the wishes of a patient as far as refraining from life sustaining treatment. Officials in Sweden agree with the global community that they are not required to keep someone alive that does not wish to be so. Officials insist that doctors must provide all treatments when possible, but they do not enforce the actions of such treatment. Like in many other countries, active euthanasia is illegal and is viewed as murder. Sweden, however, unlike many other countries considers some forms of passive euthanasia to be illegal as well. However, they keep this distinction somewhat vague. Swedish penal code only makes mention to “assisting suicide for selfish purposes is an offence and punishable by imprisonment�?. This intentional ambiguity leaves this issue to be addressed on a case by case basis and is up to the decision making process of the judicial system. D. Abortion and contraception The nation allows considerable free exercise of the rights to abortion, contraceptives, RU486, and the ‘morning-after’ pill. Contraceptives, especially, are freely distributed at youth clinics and such at no expense to guests. Education about all forms of contraception is made available and accessible in an effort to promote awareness. Abortion and the ‘morning-after’ pill may be partially subsidized while RU486 remains as of now not funded by the state. Sweden retains fairly open means to contraception and encourages an education with its citizens (compulsory education in school). Sweden more often than not allows these freedoms and even supports them financially with varying degrees of patronage. (Sweden was surveyed by the students of Bryant University, RI, USA. Last update: March 2009. Little remarks have been added. Any peer review of data is welcome.) Missing info on: E. Therapeutic uses of narcotic drugs F. Pain treatments