Aim of the Human Research Act

The Swiss Human Research Act (HRA) regulates research involving human beings in Switzerland. It provides the framework for interaction between research participants and researchers. The objective of the Act is to protect the dignity, privacy and health of human beings involved in research and at the same time create favourable framework conditions for research while also ensuring the quality and transparency of the latter.

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Swiss Human Research Act

The Swiss Human Research Act (HRA) provides the framework for interaction between research participants and researchers.

Operating principle of the Act

The HRA works as follows: Research on human beings is categorically prohibited unless a research project is approved by an independent supervisory body in accordance with the statutory requirements. In certain clearly regulated exceptional cases, human research projects may also be conducted without authorisation.

Key aspects

In its substance, the HRA defines the principles which need to be complied with for any human research project. The Act also has special provisions for specific types of research, for example research on persons lacking capacity, research involving prisoners or research involving deceased persons.

The classification of research projects according to the risks involved for the participants is also crucial. The research project category is pivotal in determining the authorisation procedure as well as for the restrictions concerning the project’s execution and reporting.

Further information