Regulation of stem cell research in Sweden

The use of human embryos for research is comprehensively regulated. Human embryonic stem cells can be derived from excess IVF embryos and by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Reproductive cloning is banned.

Current legal position

The Activities Involving Human Eggs for Research or Treatment Purposes Act 1991 allows for research on embryos for up to 14 days after fertilization and their destruction afterwards.  Subsequent regulation has built on this. The Biobanks in Medical Care Act 2002 set up a national stem cell bank.  The 2005 Act on Genetic Integrity allows the creation of human embryos for research using somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT): 'therapeutic cloning'. This technique can be used only following approval by an ethics committee and by donors.

Ethical and regulatory oversight

The Swedish National Council of Bioethics (Statens Medinsk-Etiska Råd) advises the Swedish government on ethical issues raised by scientific and technological advances, and has published recommendations on biomedical issues including stem cell research.  

Relevant laws, policies and links

Researched by

Sean Small

Reviewed by

Outi Hovatta