Ethical review in Finland depends on whether the research is medical or in the scope of human sciences.
The Medical Research Act and Decree (488/1999) regulate medical research involving human beings.
According to the Act, medical research means research involving intervention in the integrity of a person, human embryo or human foetus for the purpose of increasing knowledge of health, the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases or the nature of diseases in general.
The ethics committees of hospital districts are responsible for ethical pre-evaluation of medical research. The National Committee on Medical Research Ethics evaluates the ethical aspects of international multi-centre medicinal trials in cooperation with research ethics committees.
For more information on ethical review in medical research, see the National Committee on Medical Research Ethics.
The Research Act only applies to medical research. For research involving human participants, the Finnish National Board on Research Integrity TENK has issued a set of guidelines on the ethical principles to be followed:
- The ethical principles of research with human participants and ethical review in the human sciences in Finland. Finnish National Board on Research Integrity guidelines 2019 (PDF) - in Finnish, Swedish and English - published on 19 September 2019 and in force since 1 October 2019
Commitment to TENK's ethical guidelines
Commitment to the ethical guidelines for research in the humanities and social sciences is voluntary and includes an obligation to arrange an ethical review in accordance with the principles set forth by TENK. Nearly all of the research organisations in this area in Finland have already committed themselves to complying with the guidelines
For a list of organisations that have committed themselves to the guidelines, see Finnish page Sitoutuneet organisaatiot