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It is now almost 16 months since the NACB last met and a Department of Health spokesperson told the Medical Independent (MI) that there is still no decision on what the NACB will work on next or when its next meeting will be called.
The official task of the Committee is to advise the Minister for Health on the ethical and social implications of scientific developments in human medicine and healthcare.
“No decision has been made regarding the next topic on the work programme for the NACB,” the Department’s spokesperson told MI.
“The NACB last met on 24 September 2015. Given that the topic of NACB’s next project has yet to be determined, no specific date has been selected for the NACB’s next meeting.”
The Committee completed its last opinion document entitled Nudging in Public Health – An Ethical Framework in December 2015.
This document was published in April 2016 on the Department of Health’s website.
The Department did not provide any detail on the progress of a review of the terms of reference of the Committee.
The secretariat for the NACB is provided by the Department’s Bioethics Unit.
The NACB, which was established in March 2012, has previously provided advice on issues such as informed consent on blood transfusion and the detention of voluntary and involuntary patients in mental health facilities.