Occasionally, the Association is informed that applicants feel unfairly treated by the responsible ethics committee or that their opinion does not meet the standards of a proper ethical-legal evaluation. To meet the necessary self-control in science, the general meeting of the working group has therefore decided to establish the institution of an ombudsman as of January 1st, 2015. In the sense of a moderator, the ombudsman should attempt to resolve such concerns independently, neutrally and strictly confidentially in cooperation with the complainant and, if necessary, the ethics committee concerned. When appealing to the ombudsman, it is assumed that the complainants have already attempted to resolve the problem with the ethics committee concerned themselves.

The Association of Medical Ethics Committees hopes that this initiative will provide a low-threshold option for conflict resolution and contribute to strengthening Germany as a center of science.

Professor Dr. med. Dr. phil. Heiner Raspe, until 2013 chairman of the Research Ethics Committee of the University of Lübeck, was elected as ombudsman. Corresponding inquiries from applicants should be addressed to him directly:

Prof. Dr. med. Dr. phil. H. Raspe

Visiting Scientist of the Medical Faculty of the Westphalian Wilhelms University Münster