The values of the Agence de la biomedicine in action
The Agence de la biomédecine, in its missions and strategic projects, adheres to and promotes the values of ethics, equity and transparency.
These values underlie the Agence’s credibility as the public health authority of reference in its field with responsibility for the quality of and access to care, as well as for the respect of patients and donors. They form, as such, the keystone of the health professionals’ and general public’s trust in the institution.
Transparency in action and information
The Agence de la biomédecine’s activities in public health and ethics are very sensitive to public opinion. As such transparent, clear and accurate information about the Agence’s actions and the issues at stake is essential. “To be transparent we need to educate and to explain complex subjects clearly. Simple language can express precise messages. Ethics must be seen to be at the heart of everything we say : we must be serious, solid and expert,” explains Anne Courrèges, Director General of the Agence de la biomédecine.
The Agence is very attentive to the transparency of its role, its operating methods and of the rules applied in its various fields of competence.
For example, the Agence is completely transparent when faced with concerns and misapprehensions expressed by the general public, such as “Is it dangerous to donate bone marrow ?” or “What happens to a body after the organs have been removed ?”
Equity of access to treatment
The Agence de la biomédecine guarantees each individual the treatment they need, within the constraints of health safety and ethical considerations. In transplantation, the equity of organ allocation is guaranteed by an information system that permits nationally coordinated organ allocation using an objective and transparent score to identify recipients. The information system traces all decisions and is also used for the collection and analysis of data, etc.
The requirement for equity also applies, of course, to the Agence’s activities in Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), prenatal diagnosis and genetics. The Agence de la biomédecine is committed to improving access to and guaranteeing equity of care (via legislation, Good Clinical Practice guidelines, information for couples, etc.) in these fields.
Medical and scientific ethics
The constant progress of science, in particular the use of human body products and substances for therapeutic purposes raises ethical issues for society that are clearly addressed by the French Bioethics law. The Agence de la biomédecine systematically implements this law with particular attention to its ethical values. It also animates, clarifies and promotes the ethics’ debate in the general public and Parliament as was clearly shown by their extensive participation in the revision of the Bioethics law (passed July 7th 2011).