Institut für Ethik und Geschichte der Medizin
| Prof. Dr. Mark SchwedaDr. Mark Schweda |
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Phone: +49-(0)551-39-22116

Mail: mark.schweda(at)




PD Dr. Mark Schweda

Research interests

  • Ageing, the life course, and human temporality
  • Technology in health care
  • Diagnosis, treatment and public representations of dementia
  • Organ donation and transplantation
  • Socio-cultural contexts of biomedicine and bioethics
  • Socio-empirical research and political participation in bioethics
  • Philosophical ethics, political philosophy and history of German philosophy in the 20th century

Current projects

Biographical Note

Since Oct 2015: Researcher (Postdoc) at the Dpt. for Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, University Medical Center Göttingen

Apr 2015-Sep 2015: Substitute for Prof. Silke Schicktanz, Dpt. for Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, University Medical Center Göttingen

Jan 2014-Mrch 2015: Fellow at the Lichtenberg-Kolleg Göttingen Institute for Advanced Study

Jul-Oct 2012: Visiting Scholar at the Center for Science, Technology, Medicine & Society, University of California, Berkeley (USA)

Aug/Sep 2011: Research stay at the Department of Philosophy, San Francisco State University (USA)

Apr 2009-Jun 2010: Researcher at the Dpt. for Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, University of Tuebingen in the joint research project "Die Verteilung knapper Gesundheitsressourcen zwischen Krankheitsorientierung und Präferenzerfüllung"(funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research)

Mrch/Apr 2009: Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics (CESAGEN), University of Lancaster (GB)

Jan 2006-Dec 2013: Researcher at the Dpt. for Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, University Medical Center Göttingen in the EU-Project "Challenges of Biomedicine"

2005: Researcher at the Dpt. for Ethics, History and Theory of Medicine, University of Muenster

PhD (supervisor Prof. Dr. Volker Gerhardt, Institute for Philosophy, Humboldt-University at Berlin)  "Entzweiung und Kompensation. Joachim Ritters philosophische Theorie der modernen Welt" (02/2012 "summa cum laude")

Studies philosophy und German literature and language at the Humboldt-University at Berlin, the Freie Universität Berlin and the University of Nottingham (UK) 



Publications (selected)


Joachim Ritter und die Ritter-Schule zur Einführung, Hamburg: Junius 2015.

Entzweiung und Kompensation. Joachim Ritters philosophische Theorie der modernen Welt, Freiburg i. Br.: Alber 2013.




PAPERS (selected)

  • Schweda, M., Schicktanz, S., Raz, A., Silvers, A. (2017): Beyond cultural stereotyping. The role of culture and religion for public attitudes towards end-of-life decision making in the USA, Germany, and Israel, in: BMC Medical Ethics 18 (1):13 [doi: 10.1186/s12910-017-0170-4].
  • Schmidhuber, M., Schweda, M., Spindler, M. (2016): Zwischen Überwachung und Fürsorge – Perspektiven der ethischen Debatte um Monitoringtechniken im häuslichen Umfeld älterer Menschen, in: Zeitschrift für medizinische Ethik 62 (1), pp. 43-56.
  • Schweda, M., Woehlke, S., Inthorn, J. (2015): “Not the years in themselves count”: The role of age for European citizens' moral attitudes towards resource allocation in modern biomedicine, in: Journal of Public Health 23, pp. 117-126 [doi: 10.1007/s10389-015-0664-9]. 
  • Schweda, M. & Frebel, L. (2015): Wie ist es, dement zu sein? Epistemologische Probleme und filmästhetische Lösungsperspektiven in der Demenzethik, in: Ethik in der Medizin 27 (1), pp. 47-57 [doi: 10.1007/s00481-014-0332-6].
  • Schicktanz, S., Schweda, M., Ballenger, J. F., Fox, P. J., Halpern, J., Kramer, J. H., Micco, G., Post, S. G., Thompson, C., Knight, R. T., & Jagust, W. J. (2014): Before it is too late: professional responsibilities in late-onset Alzheimer’s research and pre-symptomatic prediction, in: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 8:921 [doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00921]
  • Schweda, M. (2014): „Ein Jegliches hat seine Zeit“ – Altern und die Ethik des Lebensverlaufs, in: Zeitschrift für Praktische Philosophie 1, pp. 185-232.
  • Schweda, M. & Pfaller, L. (2014): Colonization of later life? Laypersons' and users' agency regarding anti-aging medicine in Germany, in: Social Science and Medicine 118, pp. 159–165.
  • Schweda, M. & Marckmann, G. (2013): How do we want to grow old? Anti-aging medicine and the scope of public healthcare in liberal democracies, in: Bioethics 27/7, pp. 357-364.
  • Schweda, M. (2013): Zwischen universalistischem Egalitarismus und gerontologischem Separatismus. Themenschwerpunkte und theoretische Perspektiven des medizinethischen Alter(n)sdiskurses, in: A. von Hülsen-Esch, M. Seidler & Chr. Tagsold (eds.): Methoden der Alter(n)sforschung. Disziplinäre Positionen und transdisziplinäre Perspektiven, Bielefeld: transcript, pp. 53-72.

Current list of publications (PDF)

The World report on ageing and health published by WHO in 2015 and the Global strategy and action plan on ageing and health 2016–2020 indicate that some issues of healthy ageing require conceptual and ethical exploration. For this purpose, a scoping  meeting was organized by WHO on 18 March 2017 at the University of Tübingen, Germany. Various experts in the fields of bioethics, gerontology, public health and  other social and medical sciences were invited. This report presents the content of the presentations and summarizes the achievements of the Meeting.

This book examines the relevance of modern medicine and healthcare in shaping the lives of elderly persons and the practices and institutions of ageing societies. Combining individual and social dimensions, Planning Later Life discusses the ethical, social, and political consequences of increasing life expectancies and demographic change in the context of biomedicine and public health.

In aging societies, the question of the shaping of old age becomes increasingly important. A new research project by the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) and the University Medical Center Göttingen now studies concepts of “successful aging”. The Federal Ministry of Health is funding the project with approx. 230.000 Euro.



Recent and ongoing developments in the field of research into the causes and development of AD have led to new ways of understanding this condition. Researchers now suggest AD should be considered as a continuum, ranging from an “at risk” state through to a dementia state, emphasising AD as a possible cause rather than a form of dementia.The Ethics Working Group reflected on a range of ethical issues linked to the new AD model, for the “Discussion paper on ethical issues linked to the changing definitions/use of terms related to Alzheimer’s disease”.

How are individual and social ideas of late-onset dementia shaped and negotiated in film, literature, the arts, and the media? And how can the symbolic forms provided by popular culture be adopted and transformed by those affected in order to express their own perspectives? This international and interdisciplinary volume summarizes central current research trends and opens new theoretical and empirical perspectives on dementia in popular culture. It includes contributions by internationally renowned scholars from the humanities, social and cultural gerontology, age(ing) studies, cultural studies, philosophy, and bioethics.
Contributions by Lucy Burke, Marlene Goldman, Annette Leibing and others.