- During the 122nd session of the Icelandic Parliament, in March 1998, the
Government issued a bill on the creation and operation of a centralized medical database.
This bill sprang from the ideas of Kári Stefánsson, CEO of deCode Genetics.
Ideas on such a database were suggested earlier, in 1975-76, but were not materialized due to
lack of funding and information technology. The bill was subjected to intensive discussions
in Parliament and the mass media and was not passed. A working group appointed by the Ministry
of Health and Social Security to revise the bill in the light of these discussions and a new
bill was issued to Parliament during its 123rd session, in October 1998. After a few weeks of
deliberations in both its Committee on Health and in its general session, Parliament passed
the bill, on 17 December 1998; 37 MPs voted for it, 20 against, and 6 were not present. In
accordance with the bill, a Governing Committee has bee appointed(25 February) to oversee the
establishment and running of the database. On 23 March 1999, 600 people had exercised that right.