Code of Ethics

This second draft (2014) of the IEM’s self-given, internal code of ethics consists of an introduction, a preamble, and recommended standards that will serve as an ethical decision basis for the researcher on the ground.

The introductory part presents the organisation, procedural considerations, and scope of application of the code of ethics. The preamble summarizes the intended goal of the IEM to engage in practical ethics. The recommended standards finally present guidelines for conduct that we impose ourselves to follow. The formulation of this code is particularly narrow and specific since the code is tailored to the particular needs of the IEM researchers.

Please download the full pdf-version of the Code of Ethics below. In case of interest or feedback you want to share with us, please contact: info@iem.uzh.ch

IEM Code of Ethics (PDF, 239 KB)

Summary:

  • This code of ethic is the basic ethical framework under which the researcher at the IEM works. We do not impose our views on other institutes or researchers.
  • The IEM are research institutions that undertake research of human remains. This research will either be covered by existing legal frameworks for modern remains or this code of ethics which is our internal framework for historic and prehistoric human remains.
  • Researchers have to be qualified and aware of greater implications (legal, etc.) of their work.
  • Sampling should be minimally invasive, using least damaging techniques and with consultation with other stakeholders.
  • Research has to have clear goals.
  • If collection or sample processing is taken off site then the same anti contamination, preservation, etc. measures should be met.
  • Everything should be labelled, documented, secured and kept in appropriate conditions.
  • Removal offsite or destructive sampling of remains must be properly recorded
  • Research should be published by scientifically and publically in an appropriate and respectful manner with the role of the IEM acknowledge and to legal standards.

IEM-Research on ethics and ancient mummy research:

  • Kaufmann I, Rühli FJ (2010). Without informed consent: Ethics and ancient mummy research. J Med Ethics, 36: 608–613.