Professional secrecy commission (CSProf)

Art. 12 of the Geneva Health Act of April 7, 2006 (LS) establishes a higher authority for the lifting of professional secrecy, the Professional Secrecy Commission, (hereinafter CSProf), responsible for ruling on requests for the lifting of professional secrecy in accordance with art. 321 ch. 2 Swiss Penal Code CPS and art. 86 LS.

The CSProf is administratively attached to the Department of Health and Mobility. It exercises the powers conferred by the LS in complete independence. Decisions handed down by the CSProf may be appealed to the Administrative Chamber of the Court of Justice within 10 days of notification.



The Commission is made up of three members, including a doctor from the Centre universitaire romand de médecine légale (CURML) in Geneva, who chairs the Commission, a representative of the Office cantonal de la santé (OCS) and a representative of organizations dedicated to the defense of patients' rights. Members are appointed by the State Council, which also appoints a deputy for each member.

The composition of the CSProf is as follows:

CURML doctors

President : Ms Sandra Burkhardt
Alternate Chairman : Mr. Romano La Harpe
OCS representatives

member: Mr Nicolas Doebelin
alternate member : Ms Julie Cyprien
Representatives of organizations statutorily dedicated to the defense of patients' rights :

member: Ms Ghislaine de Marsano
alternate member : Ms Julide Turgut-Bandelier
The clerk's office is provided by a legal expert (CURML); the secretariat is provided by Ms. Sarah Rufener (CURML).


Referral to the Commission

In principle, it is the patient or his/her authorized representative who waives professional secrecy with regard to data concerning him/her.

The CSProf may be called upon in five situations:

1.the patient is deceased 
2.the patient is incapable of discernment and has no authorized representative 
3.the patient, capable of discernment, refuses the lifting of professional secrecy 
4.the patient cannot be contacted 
5.there is a potential conflict of interest between the patient and his or her representative.
6.Healthcare professionals practicing in or attached to the canton of Geneva may refer matters to the Professional Secrecy Commission.

The CSProf receives over 600 requests a year. Requests for waiver of professional secrecy come mainly from doctors attached to Geneva University Hospitals.

In the majority of cases, requests for waiver of professional secrecy are made in order to pass on information to a judicial authority (Tribunal de protection de l'adulte et de l'enfant, Ministère public) or to the next of kin of a deceased patient.

Professional secrecy commission
Center Universitaire Romand de Médecine Légale
1, Rue Michel-Servet
1211 Geneva 4
T - 079 553 01 78
e-mail -