Medical Law, Ethics and Humanitarian Medicine

Unit Services Research and Training FAQ


Mains tasks

The Unit of Health Law, Ethics and Humanitarian Medicine (DMMH) has two mains tasks:

  • academic training and research in medical law, ethics and humanitarian medicine
  • development of humanitarian legal medicine through international cooperation.


Field of activity

The first main activity of the DMMH is to provide pre and post-graduate courses as well as in the context of the continuing education. Within the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Geneva, the DMMH coordinates, in partnership with the Institute of Biomedical Ethics,  courses of legal medicine, clinical ethics at the bachelor’s and master’s degree level, in particular in medical and humanitarian law.

The DMMH also participates in courses on ethical as well as legal aspects of biobanks at the Faculty of Law of the University of Geneva and coordinates the certificates of advanced studies (CAS) of the CURML.

In addition, the DMMH conducts research on medical law and ethics (biobanks, genetic research, biomedical research involving prisons), humanitarian medicine and human rights in places of detention, law, forensic pathology and forensic science. To this end, it seeks to establish and strengthen its collaboration with academic institutions, but also practitioners for scientific publications.

The second main activity of the DMMH is to promote the development of humanitarian missions of the CURML through international cooperation, in particular expertise and humanitarian missions, capacity building and support for forensic projects at the request of the various partners.



The DMMH is under the functional responsibility of Prof. Silke Grabherr (e-mail:; and administrative responsability of Dr Ghislain Patrick Lessène (tel: 079 556 86 90; e-mail:;

The DMMH has two sections: an academic training & research section based at the University of Geneva and a legal medicine humanitarian section based in Lausanne.

  • Operational head of the Academic Training & Research Section : Prof. B. Elger, Prof. Bernice Elger (tel : 022 379 56 00; e-mail : )
  • Legal Secretary of the Academic Training & Research Section : Dr Marinette Ummel who is also a collaborator of the Institute of Biomedical Ethics (e-mail: )
  • Operational head of the Legal Medicine Humanitarian Section: Dr Ghislain Patrick Lessène (tel: 079 556 86 90; e-mail:

The DMMH welcomes trainees and benefits from the contribution of several collaborators involved in its research projects and humanitarian missions.


General information

Various medical law topics are presented in particular in the following publications:

  • The guidelines of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences can be found on the website. Regulations governing scientific integrity, published by the same organization, are also available on this site.



University Center of Legal Medicine

University of Geneva

University Medical Centre

Rue Michel-Servet 1

CH-1211 Geneva 

Tél : 079 556 86 90

E-Mail :;