The Swiss Senate has approved a law tightening the rules governing research on people who are underage or mentally impaired.
The law stipulates that anyone involved in a research project must have given their written consent after having been sufficiently informed about the project.
People who are mentally unable to make decisions and children should be involved as much as possible in the consent process.
Researchers will have to answer for damages related to their project and an injured party may claim compensation up to ten years after the end of the project. This can be extended in some cases by the cabinet. This is to cover risks associated with radiation exposure and the transplantation of living cells or organs from one species to another.
Ethics commissions overseeing projects will be boosted.
The basis for the law was passed in a referendum in March 2010.
swissinfo.ch and agencies