States do not have a monopoly on thinking about medical, human science and technological issues related to bioethics. Independent organisations are constantly striving to raise the level of debate in this field. Some of these institutions stand out.
The Nuffield Foundation
The Nuffield Foundation is a charitable organisation established in 1943. It supports research and innovation in a number of areas, including justice, education, welfare and agriculture. It also has an internal body dedicated to analysing and advising on bioethical issues arising from recent discoveries in health and bioscience. This private committee, established in 1991, is now funded by the Foundation itself, the UK Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust.
The observations of the Nuffield Foundation’s Bioethics Council have a great influence on bioethics laws passed in the UK, Canada, Australia and several English-speaking countries. Thus, although the committee only deals with cases involving bioethics in the UK, its findings have implications for the regulation of medical and biotechnological practices in a dozen countries around the world.
The Louis-Jeantet Foundation
The Louis-Jeantet Foundation focuses on societal and bioethical issues related to new applications of biomedical research. It financed the bioethics documentation and research work preliminary to the creation of the Institut Etiques Histoires Humanités in Geneva in 1995.
The Brocher Foundation
Also in Switzerland, the Brocher Foundation is one of the largest supporters of research on legal, social and ethical issues involving health policies and medical developments.
It welcomes scientists, researchers, legal experts and politicians from all over the world to broaden the debate on bioethics to citizens of all ages. The Foundation presents itself as a bridge between citizens, NGOs, governmental entities and the scientific world.
European Bioethics Forum
The EFB is a European and international reference for multidisciplinary exchanges on bioethics. Its annual conference in Strasbourg inspires state actors, researchers and philosophical and spiritual personalities from all over the world.