Projects on Geriatric Medicine & Dementia in the Research Group Schicktanz

2021 – 2024: Project: Optimizing the aging Brain? Situating Ethical Aspects of Dementia Prevention (BEAD)

Carried out by:
Prof. Dr. Silke Schicktanz
Dr. Shingo Segawa
Niklas Petersen, M.A.
Florian Grundmüller, M.A.

Prof. Dr. Silke Schicktanz sschick[at]
Dr. Shingo Segawa shingo.segawa[at]

Funding: ERA-NET Network of European Funding for Neuroscience Research
Laufzeit: 2021 – 2024

This project will be conducted in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Annette Leibing (Université de Montréal, Faculté
des sciences infirmières) and Dr. Alessandro Blasimme (ETH Zürich, Departement
Gesundheitswissenschaften und Technologie).

Dementia (the most common form is Alzheimer’s disease) has for a long time been conceived of
as an unpreventable process of mental deterioration. Since the Lancet Report in 2020, however,
researchers claim that 40% dementia cases could be prevented if at least twelve risk factors are
managed. These risk factors include some that have not been traditionally linked to Alzheimer’s,
such as lower education, diabetes, hypertension, social isolation, and hearing loss, and which
require management over the life course, making prevention a lifelong endeavour. Early detection
through biomarkers and digital tracking technologies have also become a central feature of what
we call ‘the new dementia’. This raises a number of ethical questions, such as: should individuals
be considered personally responsible for their own dementia prevention? Should we accept
extensive monitoring of our cognitive functions through digital technologies? What does dementia
prevention entail for our healthcare systems and cultures of care? And, do national, local or
international contexts play a role in how prevention is articulated and lived?

Our results aim to make people more aware that preventing dementia is a highly complex issue
that needs to be seen in context through an extensive knowledge transfer on multiple levels.

External project website:

2020 – 2022: Research Project: "Well Advised: New Multi-Mode and Standardized Counseling Models for People in Early Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease or in the Context of Dementia Prediction"

Carried out by:
Prof. Dr. Silke Schicktanz
Julia Perry, M.A.
Dr. Katrin Radenbach (UMG, Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy)

Prof. Dr. Silke Schicktanz sschick(at)
Julia Perry, M.A. jperry(at)
Funding: Forschungsförderung 2019 der Deutschen Alzheimer Gesellschaft e.V. Selbsthilfe Demenz (DAlzG)
Duration: 2020-2022

This project will be conducted in cooperation with Benjamin Herten, M.A. at the IEGUS - Institut für europäische Gesundheits- und Sozialwirtschaft.

Biomarkers enable the diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease many years prior to the appearance of first clinical symptoms. However, this form of dementia risk prediction lacks specific target group-oriented, quality-assured, low-threshold and flexible information and counseling services as well as training modules for counseling experts. The research project aims to close this gap and thereby connect to already existing international and national counseling concepts for the early diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease. This was also a central focus of the BMBF-funded discourse project "Dilemmas of Predictive Dementia Diagnostics".

This pilot study will explore the following questions:

  • What concrete content should counseling services entail?
  • How can multidisciplinarity of counseling be implemented in practice?
  • How can flexibility of the counseling environment (place of counsellng and composition of participants) be implemented?
  • How can counseling be made long-term and sustainable?
  • What further training courses are needed for the various disciplines?

1) Draft of a realizable counseling concept with standards for risk and early diagnosis according to the 5 criteria of the joint statement of the Ad Hoc Working Group in the German Stakeholder Conference on "Conflicts in Predictive Dementia Diagnostics": long-term, flexible and formalized; multidisciplinary and open to relatives; comprehensive; low-threshold and encompassing; supportive 

2) Concrete analysis of the social and legal framework conditions that should be adapted to improve the counseling services for this patient group.

3) Development of an advanced training module to train counselors so that they can apply the designed counseling concepts and materials in memory clinics. Following the aim formulated in the S3-guidelines "Dementia" (2016) to train so-called dementia counselors.

2019 – 2022: PhD Project: "Practices of (De-)Activation. Sociological Perspectives on Care and Treatment of Dementia in German Nursing Homes"

Carried out by:
Niklas Petersen, M.A. niklas.petersen(at)

Funding: German Academic Scholarship Foundation
Duration: 2019-2022

In the absence of effective pharmacological therapy options, the focus of dementia research has shifted from treatment and care to risk prediction, early detection and prevention. Public health communication and media coverage regarding dementia strongly emphasize the individual responsibility for dementia risk management. Focusing on the social, ethical and practical implications of the new understanding and public representation of dementia, the PhD projects examines medical science, nursing science and public media discourses on dementia as well as every day practices in German nursing homes.

Niklas Petersen (in press): Neuro-Kultur des Alterns – Demenzprävention in der Aktivgesellschaft, in: Franz Kolland, Vera Gallistl  & Viktoria Parisot (ed.) Kulturgerontologie – Kulturalistische Perspektiven auf das Alter(n) im deutschsprachigen Raum, Wiesbaden: Springer VS. [Neuro-Culture of Ageing – Dementia Prevention in the Active Society]

Niklas Petersen (2020): Konfliktfall Demenzvorhersage: Chancen und Risiken der Demenzvorhersage – Wie gestalten wir die zukünftige Praxis?, in: Ethik in der Medizin (32: 1), S. 103–106. [Conflict dementia prediction: Opportunities and risks of dementia prediction - How do we shape future practice?]

»Demenz-Prävention und Pflege im wohlfahrtsstaatlichen Wandel«, Institut für Ethik und Geschichte der Medizin, Universitätsmedizin Göttingen, 6. Dezember 2019 [»Dementia Prevention and Care in Context of Contemporary Social Policy«]

»Zur Gouvernementalität der Demenz zwischen Aktivierung und Medikalisierung«, Research Colloquium Political Sociology, University of Jena, Germany, January 2020
[»The Governmentality of Dementia between Activation and Medicalisation«]

»Demenzprävention in der Aktivgesellschaft«, Workshop: »Demenz-Prävention und Pflege im wohlfahrtsstaatlichen Wandel«, University Medical Center Göttingen, Germany, December  2019 [»Dementia Prevention in the Active Society«]

»Zur Bedeutung von Aktivierungsdiskursen im Feld der Demenzprävention«, Conference: »Gesund – erfolgreich – gut? Zur Diskussion gerontologischer und politischer Leitbilder des Alterns«, Kaiserburg Nürnberg, October 2019

»Prevention and Treatment of (Mild) Cognitive Impairment in Geriatric Care«, »TrentAging 2019, Second Joint NANAS/ENAS Conference«, Trent University, Canada, May 2019

»Practices of (De-)Activation. On the Ambivalence of Psychotropic Medication in Geriatric Care«, Marie Jahoda Winter School, Universität Wien, November 2018

2018 – 2020: Research Project: "Why to Know or Not to Know? Stakeholders’ Attitudes Towards Prodromal Dementia Diagnosis: Psycho-Social and Ethical Implications in Cross-Cultural Comparison"

Carried out by:
Prof. Dr. Silke Schicktanz (Head of the German research team)
Prof. Dr. Perla Werner (Head of the Israeli research team)
Dr. Zümrüt Alpinar Sencan (project coordinator)
Dr. Natalie Ulitsa (University of Haifa)

Prof. Dr. Silke Schicktanz sschick(at)
Dr. Zümrüt Alpinar Sencan zuemruet.alpinar-sencan(at)
Funding: German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development (GIF)
Duration: 2018–2020

This project will be conducted in cooperation with the University of Haifa.

Dementia is a broad term for an irreversible and progressive decline in one’s mental abilities, which would seriously affect the daily life of those who are affected. Current developments in predictive medicine show some promise for identifying the persons at risk for development of MCI (Mild Cognitive Impairment) and Alzheimer’s disease. Various biomarkers (biological markers), which give hope for detecting the changes at a preclinical stage before appearance of overwhelming symptoms, are currently under examination and validation. Despite its importance, providing such predictive risk information is accompanied by moral and psychosocial dilemmas in terms of its advantages and pitfalls. To be informed of being at risk can be beneficial regarding financial and emotional preparation (arranging care, preparing advance directives, informing the family, etc.). However, the lack of a cure and the likely psychological burdens raise concerns about the desirability of knowing such risk information.

The discussion on ethical and legal issues about how and when to disclose predictive risk information about the risk of developing a disease continues. The conflict between the hypothetical harmful consequences of disclosure and the individual’s right to know continues.

Our research aim is to explore the experiences, attitudes and concerns towards PRD (prodromal dementia - a preclinical stage) of main stakeholders (persons with dementia, their families and caregivers, experts, decision makers and laypersons).

To gain insight into their perspectives, we will conduct focus groups with lay and affected persons with SCI/MCI diagnosis and make semi-structured expert interviews both in Germany and in Israel with similar guidelines and sampling rules. We will adopt a comparative, cross-cultural bioethics method within a  multi-stakeholders’ framework, which will help:

  • close the gap between expert and public culture,
  • explore cultural similarities and  differences among different stakeholders’ levels both at a national and a cross-national level,
  • understand how moral and psycho-social attitudes regarding early diagnosis of dementia are embedded in social and cultural contexts.

With this project, we aim to provide, not only theoretically but also, an empirically-driven ethical framework for addressing concerns and psycho-social risks and for promoting the potential benefits of prodromal dementia diagnosis in clinical as well as broader societal contexts.

Alpinar-Sencan, Z.*, Schicktanz, S.*, Ulitsa, N. Shefet, D., Werner, P. (2022). "Moral motivation regarding dementia risk testing among affected persons in Germany and Israel". Journal of Medical Ethics. 48: 861-867. doi: 10.1136/medethics-2020-106990 (*Joint first authors) (Link) (Blog Post)

Werner, P., Ulitsa, N., Shephet, D., Abojabel, H., Alpinar-Sencan, Z., & Schicktanz, S. (2021). "Fear about Alzheimer's disease among Israeli and German laypersons, persons with Mild Neurocognitive Disorder and their relatives: A qualitative study". International Psychogeriatrics, 33(10): 1019-1034. doi:10.1017/S1041610220003397 (Link)

Alpinar-Sencan, Z., Schicktanz, S. (2020). “Addressing Ethical Challlenges of Disclosure in Dementia Prediction: Limitations of Current Guidelines and Suggestions to Proceed”. BMC Medical Ethics 21(33). doi: 10.1186/s12910-020-00476-4. (Link)

Lohmeyer, L., Alpinar-Sencan, Z., Schicktanz, S. (2021). “Attitudes towards Prediction and Early Diagnosis of Late-Onset Dementia: A Comparison of Tested Persons and Family Caregivers”. Aging and Mental Health. 25(5): 832-843 doi: 10.1080/13607863.2020.1727851. (Link)

Alpinar-Sencan, Z.,Lohmeyer, L., Schicktanz, S. (2020). “Planning Later Life with Dementia: Comparing Family Caregivers’ Perspective on Biomarkers with Laypersons’ Attitudes towards Genetic Testing of Dementia Prediction”. New Genetics and Society. 39(1): 52-79. doi: 10.1080/14636778.2019.1637719. (Link)

The folllowing two publications are part of a project funded by the faculty's internal research funding programme 2017 of the University Medical Center Göttingen "Ethical implications of early diagnosis and prediction of dementia: A socio-empirical study with affected persons":
Jongsma, K., Perry, J., Schicktanz, S., Radenbach, K. (2020). Motivations for people with cognitive impairment to complete an advance research directive – a qualitative interview study. BMC Psychiatry 20(360).

Jongsma, K., Perry, J., Schicktanz, S. (2018). Forschungsvorausverfügungen in der Demenzforschung: Viele konkrete Fragen sind laut deutscher Experten noch zu klären, Dtsch Arztebl, 115(39): A-1696 / B-1430 / C-1416.

Further publications:
Werner, P. and Schicktanz, S. (2018). Practical and ethical aspects of advance research directives for research on healthy aging: German and Israeli professionals' perspectives. Front. Med., 5(81). doi: 103389/fmed.2018.00081 (Link)

Werner, P. and Schicktanz, S. (2017). Competence and cognitive deterioration: Are we paying enough attention to ethical issues? In M. Schweda, L. Pfaller, K. Brauer, F. Adloff, and S. Schicktanz (Eds.). Planning Later Life: Bioethics and Public Health in Ageing Societies. London: Routledge.

Raz, A. and Schicktanz, S. (2016). Comparative Empirical Bioethics: Dilemmas of Genetic Testing and Euthanasia in Israel and Germany. Springer Briefs in Ethics, Berlin: Springer.

Schicktanz, Silke*, Schweda, M.*, Ballenger, J. F., Fox, P. J., Halpern, J., Kramer, J. H., Micco, G., Post, S. G., Thompson, C., Knight, R. T. and Jagust, W. J. (2014). Before it is too late: Professional responsibilities in late-onset Alzheimer’s research and pre-symptomatic prediction. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8(921), 1-6 (*shared first authorship).

Schicktanz, S., Schweda, M., Wynne, B. (2012). The ethics of ‘public understanding of ethics’ – Why and how bioethics expertise should include public and patients’ voices. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy, 15(2), 129-139.

Schicktanz, S. (2009). Zum Stellenwert der Betroffenheit, Öffentlichkeit und Deliberation im empirical turn der Medizinethik. Ethik in der Medizin, 21(3), 223-234.

Heidelberg 2022. Stakeholders’ Attitiudes towards Dementia Risk Testing and Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease: Insights from a Cross-Cultural Study. Hybrid Symposium on Genetic Counseling in European Universities – The Case of Neurodegenrative Diseases, Network Aging Research, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany. (Alpinar-Sencan & Ulitsa) (Dec.)

Basel 2022. Provision of Dementia Care: Insights from a Qualitative Study with the Members of the Turkish Immigrant Community in Germany. 16th World Congress of Bioethics, University of Basel, Switzerland. (Alpinar-Sencan) (July)

Basel 2022. “Being Well Informed” as the Basis for “Good Care”: Moving towrads Standards for Counseling for Dementia Prediciton and Early Diagnosis in Germany. 16th World Congress of Bioethics, University of Basel, Switzerland. (Alpinar-Sencan & Perry) (July)

Online 2022. Challenges of Disclosure in Dementia Risk Prediction: Insights from Various Stakeholders’ Perspectives in Germany. “Global Implementation of Blood-Based Biomarkers (BBB) in AD: Part II: Gaps and Opportunities”, Alzheimer’s and Dementia Research Webinars, Alzheimer’s Association. (Alpinar-Sencan & Perry) (March)

Berlin 2021. Moral Motivation Regarding Dementia Risk Testing Among Affected Persons in Germany and Israel. Annual Conference of the German Association for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics (DGPPN), CityCube, Berlin, Germany. (Alpinar-Sencan & Schicktanz) (Nov.)

Online (Erlangen-Nürnberg) 2021. Hearing Diverse Perspectives to Improve Future Practices in Dementia Medicine: A Comparative Analysis of Attitudes towards Early Diagnosis and Prediction of Dementia Across Stakeholder Groups in Germany. Annual Conference of the German Academy of Ethics in Medicine [Jahrestagung 2021 der Akademie für Ethik in der Medizin (AEM)], Friedrich-Alexander University,  Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany. (Alpinar-Sencan) (Sept.)

Online (Göttingen) 2020. What Lies Beneath? Moral Motivation Regarding Predictive Biomarker Testing and Preclinical Diagnosis Among Affected Persons in Germany and Israel. Internationales Online Symposium, “Dementia Prediction and Risk Reduction: Socio-Cultural Insights, Ethical Reflections and Future Developments”, University Medical Center Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany. (Alpinar-Sencan & Ulitsa) (Dec.)

Göttingen 2019. Challenges of Dealing with Dementia Prediciton – Various Stakeholders’ Perspectives. Wintzer-Workshop, “Demenz-Prävention und Pflege im wohlfahrtsstaatlichen Wandel”, Ethik und Geschichte der Medizin, Universirtätsmedizin Göttingen, Göttingen. (Perry & Alpinar-Sencan) (Dez.)

Peterborough 2019. Is There a ‘New Dementia’ and ‘Prevention Paradigm’? Ethical Reflections on Affected Persons Along with Professionals’ Expectations and Experiences in Germany. Trent Aging “Take Back Aging; Power, Critique, Imagination”, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. (Schicktanz) (May)

Barcelone 2018. Early Dementia Diagnosis and Planning Later Life: Preliminary Results of an Empirical-Ethical Study. 28th Alzheimer Europe Conference, Barcelona, Spain. (Alpinar-Sencan, Lohmeyer & Schicktanz) (Oct)

Amsterdam 2018. Reflections on Prognosis and Early Diagnosis of Dementia: Preliminary Results of an Empirical-Ethical Study with the Affected and Laypersons. EACME (European Association of Centers of Medical Ethics) Annual Conference: “Ethics in Action”, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. (Alpinar-Sencan, Lohmeyer & Schicktanz) (Sep)

Lisbon 2018. Planning later life and responsibilisation in the (self-)management of dementia prediction. 17th Biennial Conference of European Society for Health and Medical Sociology (ESMHS), Lisbon, Portugal. (Schicktanz) (Jun)

Alpinar-Sencan, Z. 2018. Title of Panel: Dementia Research and Later Life Planning: Insights from Patient, Professional Stakeholder and Public Engagement Studies. EACME (European Association of Centers of Medical Ethics) Annual Conference. VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, September 6.

Dementia Prediction and Risk Reduction: Socio-Cultural Insights, Ethical Reflections and Future Developments
Online Symposium


Here you can find the Announcement including all important information (PDF) 

and the Program (PDF) of our Online Symposium.


Here are the presentations and slides from the speakers:

Click here to see an overview of the topics and speeches.


Click here to view the recorded presentations on the UMG YouTube channel.


Dr. Nati Blum (Israeli Alzheimer's Association), “How do advocacy groups deal with the ‘new dementia’?” (click here to view)

Prof. Dr. Baldwin van Gorp (KU Leuven), “The role of the media in avoiding stigmatization” (click here to view)

Prof. Dr. Perla Werner (University of Haifa), “Fear of dementia: an enabler or an impediment to prediction?” (click here to view)

Dr. Richard Milne (Society and Ethics Research Group, Connecting Science, Wellcome Genome Campus, Cambridge),  “Risk disclosure and its consequences: Perspectives of asymptomatic research participants in the UK and Spain” (click here to view)

Julia Perry, M.A. (University Medical Center Göttingen) & Dr. Karin Jongsma (Utrecht University), “Advance research directives for dementia research – What do affected people think? Insights from an interview study in Germany” (click here to view)

Dr. Zümrüt Alpinar Sencan (University Medical Center Göttingen) & Dr. Natalie Ulitsa (University of Haifa), “What lies beneath? Moral motivation regarding predictive biomarker testing and preclinical diagnosis among affected persons in Germany and Israel” (click here to view)

Prof. Dr. Georg Marckmann (Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich), “Ethical reflection on public health communication for dementia risk reduction” (click here to view)

Prof. Dr. Israel Issi Doron (University of Haifa), “Legal and ethical issues surrounding risk prediction of persons with dementia” (click here to view)

Prof. Dr. Annette Leibing (University of Montréal), “Critical aspects of promoting dementia prevention” (click here to view)

Prof. Dr. Perla Werner (University of Haifa) & Prof. Dr. Silke Schicktanz (University Medical Center Göttingen), “Brainstorming for the development of an ethical framework on dementia risk prediction” (click here to view)

2017 – 2020: Research Project: „Dilemmas of Predictive Dementia Diagnostics: German Stakeholder Conference for Improving Ethics Competence in Healthcare and Life Sciences (Prä-Diadem)"

Carried out by:
Prof. Dr. Silke Schicktanz sschick(at)
Julia Perry, M.A. jperry(at)
apl. Prof. Dr. Scott Stock Giessendanner
Benjamin Herten, M.A.

Prof. Dr. Silke Schicktanz sschick(at)
Julia Perry, M.A. jperry(at)
Förderung: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)
Laufzeit: 2017–2020

Short description:
The discourse project "Dilemmas of predictive dementia diagnostics: German stakeholder conference for improving ethics competence in healthcare professions" initiates and moderates the professional and public debate on the topic of dementia prediction and early detection, which is of high social relevance due to advances in diagnostics with biomarkers.
The core objective of the project is the formulation of a joint statement of all relevant actors, which was developed during a stakeholder conference in June 2018 with 24 experts from different affected social areas. The stakeholders were involved in an iterative “funnel-shaped” process. The procedure developed by the project team allowed for stakeholder participation of varying degrees of intensity according to their specific needs. A total of 33 stakeholder organizations and associations actively participated in the discourse process. These come from the fields of medical ethics, dementia counselling, self-help, welfare, psychiatry and psychology, gerontology, nursing science, neurology, social work, religious communities, self-administration in the health care system, research, science, trade unions and the people affected.
With the joint statement, a common position has been created for the first time in the German-speaking world. This represents a substantial milestone for the further development of expert debate and public discourse in Germany.

Detailed description of the reasearch project „Prä-Diadem“

Project website (German)

2010 – 2013: Research Project: „Biomedical Life Plans for Aging: Values Between Individual Ethical Reflection and Social Standardisation“

Carried out by:
Dr. Mark Schweda, Lisa Frebel, M.A. (Göttingen)
Dr. Kai Brauer, Larissa Pfaller M.A. (Erlangen)

Prof. Dr. Silke Schicktanz silke.schicktanz(at)
Funding: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)
Duration: 2010-2013

Project website

Medicine is already a central component in people’s planning of their lives. Especially in the second half of life, they hope to shape and plan their lives with the help of different medical options. This is by no means limited to so-called “lifestyle medicine” (so-called anti-aging medicine) which caters to individual preferences. New diagnostic, therapeutic, or preventive measures generally foster the notion of an autonomous aging process which needs careful planning. This also touches upon preventive medicine to anticipate geriatric diseases and projective planning for medical decisions at the end of life (such as living wills). These new options, which make it possible to autonomously shape aging as well as dying, open up unprecedented opportunities but they also pose new challenges and risks. As a society , we have not yet grasped the ambivalences and complexities of these developments. Especially, insights are lacking which explain actual motivations, moral attitudes, and experiences of those who formulate a desire and demand for medical interventions in aging and dying.

The interdisciplinary research project Biomedical life plans for aging addresses these issues. The objective of this project is to analyse and evaluate the increasing importance of modern biomedicine for life planning with regard to aging and dying and to provide practical guidance on the basis of our findings. To do so, our research focuses on two exemplary cases: on the one hand, preventive health care (anti-aging medicine in a broader sense), on the other hand, the anticipation and negotiation of decisions at the end of life (e.g. living wills, health care proxies). In this, we pursue two, mutually complementary research perspectives: The first one refers to the role of medicine in aging: As modern medicine produces social and cultural norms, what is its influence on the perception, evaluation, and planning of aging? In turn, the second research perspective asks: is there a connection between age-specific perception and evaluation, and attitudes and decisions on the use of medical measures? Which socio-culturally transmitted and age-specific conceptions of the self and of values are implied, respectively? All in all, the collaborative project pursues the following objectives in its research:

  • Identifying self-conceptions and values of both lay persons and those affected on the topic of age in the context of biomedicine using qualitative empirical study designs.
  • Sociological analysis: reconstructing central interpretative patterns in biomedical technologies and practices.
  • Ethical analysis of the data collected as to conceptions of central ethical notions such as the good life, responsibility, and autonomy.

We pursue these research objectives within two closely integrated sub-projects based in sociology and bioethics. The sub-project (PI: Frank Adloff, Erlangen) explores and analyses life plans and life choices with regard to the possibilities of anti-aging medicine and living wills using qualitative social research methodologies (narrative interviews, group discussions). Additionally, the project uses discourse analysis to reconstruct the institutional framework by interviewing experts representing important health care institutions and by including the institutions’ communications with the public (websites, academic conferences, congresses).

The bioethics sub-project (PI: Silke Schicktanz) analyses and critically reflects on the data collected focusing on three central bioethical categories: a) images of the good life, b) conceptions of responsibility, and c) the relationship between autonomy and vulnerability. Taking the academic discussion into account, the project develops ethical categories which allow for an analysis of the attitudes and opinions evident in the data and which can be flexibly applied to the material collected.

Schicktanz, S. & Schweda, M. (Hrsg., 2012): Pro-Age oder Anti-Aging? Altern im Fokus der modernen Medizin, Frankfurt am Main/New York: Campus. Link

Schweda, S., Pfaller, I., Bauer, K. , Adloff, F. , & Schicktanz, S. (eds.) (2017): Planning Later Life. Bioethics and Public Health in Ageing Societies, Routledge. Link


Journal articles

  • Schweda, M. (2014a): “Wake up! Aging kills!“ – Altersbilder in der Auseinander­setzung um die Anti-Aging-Medizin, in: Jahrbuch für Pädagogik 2014 (1), S. 329-344. [DOI: 10.3726/265764_329] Link
  • Schweda, M. (2014b): „Ein Jegliches hat seine Zeit“ – Altern und die Ethik des Lebensverlaufs, in: Schweda, M. & Bozzaro, C. (Hrsg.): Altern als Paradigma: Neue Zugänge zur Zeitlichkeit des Menschen in der Praktischen Philosophie [= Themen­schwerpunkt der Zeitschrift für Praktische Philosophie 1 (1)], S.253-300. Link
  • Schweda, M. & Pfaller, L. (2014): Colonization of later life? Laypersons’ and users’ agency regarding anti-aging medicine in Germany, in: Social Science & Medicine, 118 (2014), S. 159-165. [DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.07.064] Link
  • Schweda, M. & Frebel, L. (2014): Wie ist es, dement zu sein? Epistemologische Probleme und filmästhetische Lösungsperspektiven in der Demenzethik, in: Ethik in der Medizin, (2015) 27, S. 47-57.  [DOI: 10.1007/s00481-014-0332-6] Link
  • Pfaller, L., Schweda, M., Schicktanz, S. (2013), Anti-Aging und die Ethik biomedizinischer Lebensplanung, in: FIPH-Journal 22, S. 22 f. Link
  • Portacolone, E., Berridge, C., Johnson, J.K. & Schicktanz, S. (2013): Time to Reinvent the Science of Dementia. The Need for Care and Social Integration, in: Aging & Mental Health, 18 (3), S.269-275. [DOI:10.1080/13607863.2013.837149] Link
  • Schweda, M. (2013a): Sollten wir das Altern Bekämpfen? Contra, in: Philosophie indebate. Link
  • Schicktanz, S. & Schweda, M. (2012b): The diversity of responsibility: The value of explication and pluralization, in: Medicine Studies 3(3), S. 131-145. [DOI: 10.1007/s12376-011-0070-8] Link


Chapters in books

  • Pfaller, L. & Schweda, M. (2014): Art. „Ewige Jugend“, in: Metzler Lexikon Moderner Mythen, Stuttgart, Weimar: J.B. Metzler, S. 119-121. Link zum Buch
  • Schweda, M. (2013b): Zwischen universalistischem Egalitarismus und gerontologischem Separatismus. Themenschwerpunkte und theoretische Perspektiven des medizinethischen Alter(n)sdiskurses, in: Seidler, M. / Brandes, S. (Hrsg.): Perspektiven der Alter(n)sforschung, Bielefeld: transcript, S. 53-72.
  • Schweda, M. (2013c): Ethik für eine alternde Gesellschaft? Die Diskussion um die Würde des alten Menschen zwischen Autonomie und Fürsorge, in: H. Baranzke/G. Duttge (Hrsg.), Würde und Autonomie als Leitprinzipien der Bioethik. Grundzüge einer moralphilosophischen Verständigung, Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, S. 271-289.
  • Schweda, M. (2013d): Zu alt für die Hüftprothese, zu jung zum Sterben? Die Rolle von Altersbildern in der ethisch-politischen Debatte um eine altersabhängige Begrenzung medizinischer Leistungen, in: G. Duttge/M. Zimmermann-Acklin (Hrsg.): Gerecht Sorgen. Verständigungsprozesse über einen gerechten Einsatz knapper Ressourcen bei Patienten am Lebensende, Göttingen: Göttingen University Press, S. 149-167.
  • Adloff, F. (2012): Zwischen Aktivität und Scham: Eine kultur- und emotionssoziologische Perspektive auf die Anti-Aging-Medizin. In: Silke Schicktanz/ Mark Schweda (Hg.): Pro-Age oder Anti-Aging? Altern im Fokus der modernen Medizin.  Frankfurt/New York: Campus, S. 327-343.
  • Schicktanz, S. & Schweda, M. (2012a): Im Spannungsfeld von Pro-Age und Anti-Aging. Interdisziplinäre Diskurse über das Altern und die Rolle der Medizin, in: S. Schicktanz/M. Schweda (Hrsg.): Pro-Age oder Anti-Aging? Altern im Fokus der modernen Medizin, Frankfurt am Main/New York: Campus, S. 11-21.
  • Schweda, M. & Schicktanz, S. (2012): Das Unbehagen an der Medikalisierung. Theoretische und ethische Aspekte der biomedizinischen Altersplanung, in: S. Schicktanz/M. Schweda (Hrsg.): Pro-Age oder Anti-Aging? Altern im Fokus der modernen Medizin, Frankfurt am Main/New York, S. 23-40.
  • Schweda, M. & Weiß, A. (2012): Probleme der Risikobewertung: Das Beispiel der Hormontherapie und der Telomeraseforschung, in: S. Schicktanz/M. Schweda (Hrsg.) (2012): Pro-Age oder Anti-Aging? Altern im Fokus der modernen Medizin, Frankfurt am Main/New York, S. 269-288.

Going beyond the integration of ethical and sociological research within the collaborative project, the cooperation with scientists in the US (Prof. Dr. Anita Silvers [Philosophy, San Francisco State University], Prof. Dr. Mary Rorty [Medical Sciences, Stanford University Medical Center], Prof. Dr. Leslie Pickering Francis [Philosophy and Law, University of Utah], and Dr. Harry R. Moody [Director of Academic Affairs, AARP, Washington, DC.]) opens up a transnational and comparative perspective. Finally, the results of the ethical analysis will be collected in a synoptic comparison. This will be complemented by a methodological reflection on the integration of descriptive and normative research. The combination of these sub-projects is designed to yield both academically and socio-politically relevant findings which will be made available to both experts and the public. Our project will further contribute to establishing an interdisciplinary and international network connecting research and research institutions.

2013: International Conference: "Planning Later Life – Bioethics and Politics in Aging Societies"

Organized by:
Silke Schicktanz, Mark Schweda und Frank Adloff

Prof. Dr. Silke Schicktanz sschick(at)
Funding: German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG),
Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), and German Research Foundation (DFG)
Duration: 2013

Project website

Medicine has become a central element in planning and shaping human life. Especially the second half of life turns into a focus of individual and political planning and decision making in the light of various medical and health care policy scenarios. On the one hand, aging and old age are often perceived as a problem and an increasing burden for medicine, care providers and social security systems dealing with growing populations of persons living with fragility and dementia. On the other hand, new diagnostic, therapeutic and preventive options in the field of preventive medicine and anti-aging encourage the idea of self-determined and successful aging that is to be prudently modeled and actively shaped.

The aim of the international conference Planning Later Life – Bioethics and Politics in Aging Societies is to critically reflect on the relevance of modern medicine in shaping the lives and situations of aging and elderly persons today. It discusses and contrasts the ethical, social and political consequences of demographic change in the field of medicine and health care as well as the implications of the rise of anti-aging medicine and prevention, and recent trends in dementia research and care. The conference is interdisciplinary, combining perspectives from ethics, sociology, cultural anthropology and nursing sciences.

You can find the program flyer here (PDF)

Pro-Age oder Anti-Aging? Altern im Fokus der modernen Medizin
Editors: Silke Schicktanz and Mark Schweda

Campus (Frankfurt a.M./New York)
Erscheinungstermin: 16.01.2012
kartoniert, 376 Seiten, 6 Abbildungen 
Reihe: Kultur der Medizin, Bd.35 
EAN 9783593395104

Der Einfluss der Medizin darauf, wie wir das Alter sehen und damit umgehen, wird immer größer. Medizinische Theorien und Behandlungen prägen das Selbstverständnis und die Erwartungen älterer Menschen. In diesem Band diskutieren Autorinnen und Autoren aus Sicht von Ethik und Philosophie, Sozial- und Geschichtswissenschaft, Medizin, Psychologie, Recht und Theologie die Folgen dieser
Entwicklung. Die Themen reichen vom Umgang mit Demenz über die medizinische Versorgung am Lebensende und die gerechte Verteilung von Ressourcen in alternden Gesellschaften bis zur Kontroverse um die Anti-Aging-Medizin. In allen diesen Bereichen zeigt sich: Die moderne Medizin beeinflusst nicht nur, wie alt wir werden – sie bestimmt vor allem, auf welche Weise wir alt werden.


2012: Workshop II: "Bioethics and Sciences of Aging: The Case of Dementia"
October 5th - 7th 2012 University of California, Berkeley 

Organized by:
Dr. Julia Inthorn, Dr. des. Mark Schweda, Prof. Dr. Silke Schicktanz

Prof. Dr. Silke Schicktanz sschick(at)
Funding: Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Duration: 2012

In cooperation with UC Berkeley: Robert Knight (Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute UCB), Cori Hayden (Science, Technology, & Society Center UCB), & Charis Thompson (Gender & Science Program UCB)

Questions of age and ageing are rapidly shifting to the centre of public as well as academic discourses. Especially recent developments in dementia research and care find increasing attention. However, the socio-cultural factors and theoretical/methodological premises of understanding and conceptualizing this emerging field of research are still often less than clear: While the medical point of view has long been dominant in many western countries, leading to an understanding and treatment of age(ing) and dementia in terms of physical and mental decline and pathology, social and cultural aspects have often been neglected. On the other hand, there is increasing awareness that socio-cultural factors such as cultural traditions, the structures of national legal and economic framework conditions and healthcare systems, as well as the foci of popular media discourses also frame and shape the way age(ing) and dementia are perceived and dealt with. The workshop will include perspectives from neuroscientists, philosophers, ethicists, cultural anthropologists and social scientists. The discussion will focus on recent developments of dementia research, diagnosis and prevention and care in the USA and Germany, also highlighting the role of political players such as patient associations. Sufficient time slots for discussion will be allowed to ensure intensive interdisciplinary exchange and elaborate concrete research topics.

You can find the program flyer here (PDF)

2009: Workshop I: "Medicalization of Aging – Gerontologization of Medicine: Relevance and Changes of Aging in Relation to Modern Medicine"
29.-31. October 2009, Göttingen (Germany)

Prof. Dr. Silke Schicktanz sschick(at)
Funding: VolkswagenStiftung
Duration: 2009

The interdisciplinary expert workshop focuses on the significance and changes in the horizon of modern medicine with regards to aging from two research perspectives: First, against the backdrop of a progressive medicalization of aging in modern societies, we will examine what effects (bio-)medical approaches have on individual and socio-cultural understandings of, and ways of dealing with, aging. Second, with regard to a possible gerontologisation of medicine in the course of demographic change, the influence of such assumptions on medical practice and the healthcare sector will be discussed.

 Flyer with workshop program (PDF, German)

 Abstracts (PDF, German)

 Comments from of the panelists on individual topics and aspects of the event (PDF, German)

  • Michael Denkinger, Geriatrie auf verlorenem Posten? Geriatrie muss sich gegenüber Anti-Aging-Medizin positionieren, in: Geriatrie-Journal 11 (2009) 6, S. 11f. 
  • Claudia Bozzaro, Workshop "Medikalisierung des Alterns – Gerontologisierung der Medizin? Bedeutung und Wandel des Alterns im Horizont der modernen Medizin", in: Ethik in der Medizin [online first] doi: 10.1007/s00481-010-0063-2 (Link)