Medicine in change
During the last decades, the health system in our country strongly expanded: the number of medical doctors, carers and others active in this area has increased strikingly. In addition, a variety of technical and pharmacological developments have contributed to a considerable improvement of prevention, diagnosis and treatment of many diseases and ailments. The resulting health system is therefore most successful. At the same time, the personal and financial resources deployed are so high that Switzerland will barely be in a position to maintain them in the long-term.
Since 1999, the SAMS intensely looks into the subject of aims and duties of medicine. In autumn 2007, and in the context of the principal topic "occupational imanges and occupational identities", the SAMS published the report "Future occupational images of medical doctors and carers in the outpatient and clinical praxis", which caused quite some reaction. In June 2009, the SAMS, in collaboration with the SAHS, organised the meeting "On the change of professions in health care: ousider's and insider's views".
In 2008, the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences adopted the subject "Human Enhancement", i.e. the transformation or improvement of non-pathologic traits, as a principal topic and established a working group under the guidance of Prof. Nikola Biller-Andorno. The working group shall produce a report on the ethical questions of "Human Enhancement" and elaborate recommendations.
It is unclear, whether drugs allow to increase the performance of healthy human beings. Nonetheless, drugs are already applied in this sense. For example by students during preparation for an exam, hoping to achieve better concentration. In this study, the present possibilities of "Doping in everyday life" are both pointed out and questioned.
Health, well-being and youthful appearance: these are the aims of anti-ageing medicine. Not only cosmetics are offered under the anti-ageing label, but also dietary supplements and hormone replacement therapies, for example. Yet, what offers do keep what they promise? The TA-SWISS study produces an overview and points out the potentials and risks.