Projects on Globalization & Cross-Cultural Comparison in the Research Group Schicktanz



2018 – 2020: Platform for International Cooperation: "Bioethics and the Legacy of the Holocaust"

Carried out by:
Prof. Dr. Silke Schicktanz sschick(at)gwdg.de (Project Leadership)
PD Dr. Heiko Stoff stoff.heiko(at)mh-hannover.de (Project Leadership)

Contact:
Prof. Dr. Silke Schicktanz sschick(at)gwdg.de
Funding: German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Duration: 2018–2020

In the summer of 2017, we established an international working group which aims at jointly examining the impact and legacy of the Holocaust on the development of bioethics in Israel and Germany. Since 2018 we are government-funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). During a German-Israeli Symposium on 'Bioethics and the Legacy of the Holocaust' from May 13 until May 17, 2019 in Berlin, a theoretical framework for interdisciplinary studies by addressing methodological and conceptual questions was introduced. Selected junior career researchers from Germany and Israel had been actively enrolled in this transnational and cross-cultural symposium with extensive exchange on existing, ongoing, and envisioned studies. They now cover our network with different disciplinary backgrounds, such as history of science and medicine, bioethics, public health ethics and cultural studies as well as technology studies (STS).

The main research question is whether and how the concept, discipline, and debates of current bioethics and related practices in Israel and Germany have been influenced by historical memories. In particular this includes ethical guidelines, committees, counseling, public priorities, ethico-legal developments, as well as research and health policies. Also the impact of the so-called Nuremberg Code, and by this the US debate on 'historical lessons', on current bioethics are part of the reflection. While many studies have a focus on local debates, our research has a particularly strong interest in transnational and cross-cultural exchanges of and between such debates. By bringing together bioethicists and historians, we want to contribute to future debates in the broader field of medical humanities, a field comprising the various disciplines (historical, ethical, cultural, and sociological) by reflecting on the relationship between medical history, ethical debates and current medical practices.

Assor, Yael, M.A., University of California, U.S.A.
Boas, Hagai, PhD, Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, Israel
Czech, Herwig, Dr., Charité Berlin, Germany
Davidovitch, Nadav, Prof. PhD. University of the Negev, Israel
Foth, Hannes, M.A., University of Lübeck, Germany
Hashiloni-Dolev, Yael, Prof. PhD. Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yaffo, Israel
Hohendorf, Gerrit, Prof. Dr. med., Technical University of Munich (TUM), Germany
Krischel, Matthis, Dr., Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany
Schicktanz, Silke, Prof. Dr., University Medical Centre Göttingen, Germany
Schütz, Mathias, Dr., Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany
Stoff, Heiko, PD Dr., Hannover Medical School, Germany
Zalashik, Rakefet, Prof. PhD, Vanderbilt University, U.S.A.
Zuckerman, Shachar, PhD, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

This collaboration aims at developing a larger, continuous platform encouraging joint research and publications. Currently we are planning a special issue for the journal BIOETHICS. This is expected to be published in autumn 2020.

The issue will provide an innovative theoretical framework for future interdisciplinary studies on the historization and cultural self-reflection of bioethics by addressing methodological and conceptual questions. The topics selected will cover all the main relevant aspects of the debate and can be organized in three sections:

  • The general conceptual and meta-ethical issues of the relationship between ethics and the history of medicine
  • The impact of historical references on current bioethical debates on genetics and reproduction medicine, end of life decisions, and research ethics
  • The political and public usage of explicit and implicit analogies for justifying or criticizing public health policies

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN BECOMING A MEMBER OF OUR PLATFORM?

We are looking for researchers from post-doc level onwards whose work is situated within the intersection of:

  • Bioethics with a focus on the impact of medical history of the first half of the 20th century on current debates
  • Theoretical, philosophical, or didactical concepts of historical responsibility in the areas of teaching history and ethics of medicine
  • Contemporary historical studies on how the Holocaust – 'Nazi medicine' – of the first half of the 20th century impact current health policy
  • Cultural-comparative approaches on health policy/biopolicy considering historical developments
  • Social studies of public or health professional attitudes/narratives related to the Holocaust, 'Nazi medicine', or bio-selective technologies in immigration politics

Should you be interested in joining our collaboration or have any questions, please contact us:

PD Dr. Heiko Stoff
+49 511-532-2984
stoff.heiko(at)mh-hannover.de

Prof. Dr. Silke Schicktanz
+49(0)551-39 33966
sschick(at)gwdg.de


2016 – 2019: Research Project: "Timing Fertility – A Comparative Analysis of Time Constructions and the Social Practice of Egg-Freezing in Germany and Israel"

Carried out by:
Dr. Nitzan Rimon-Zarfaty (PI)
Lisa-Katharina Sismuth

Contact:
Prof. Dr. Silke Schicktanz sschick(at)gwdg.de
Dr. Nitzan Rimon-Zarfaty nitzan.rimon-zarfaty(at)medizin.uni-goettingen.de

Phase I: August 2016 – Januar 2018 
Funding: Minerva-Stiftung; Post-Doctoral Fellowship 

Phase II: February 2018 – September 2019
Funding: The Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual-Fellowship

Technological advancements in reproductive medicine have introduced the new concept of "FREEZING". Nowadays, healthy women are given the possibility to cryopreserve their oocytes in order to prolong their fertility, a procedure known as "social egg freezing". There is an ongoing bioethical academic and public debate on the social and ethical implications of this practice. This socio-empirical research is interested in extending our understanding of the concept of "freezing" in broader contexts, while analyzing it through the prism of 'sociology of time'. Egg freezing constitutes an extremely fascinating paradigm for studying concepts of time, timing, planning and its social-technological manipulation related to modern life science. The research aims to examine the interplay of culture and bioethics in an interdisciplinary and empirical manner, focusing on and comparing experts' and lay positions and using a cross-cultural German-Israeli comparative research framework. This cross-cultural comparison is especially interesting since the German regulatory and legal framework regarding new reproductive technologies is rather restrictive, while the Israeli regulation has been identified as extremely permissive.

The project includes two main empirical phases:

Phase 1:  Aug 2016- Jan 2018 (The Minerva Stiftung Post-Doctoral Fellowship)- included qualitative semi-structured interviews with German and Israeli experts and archive analysis for the establishment of a cross-cultural research framework.

Phase 2: February 2018- Sep 2019 (The Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual-Fellowship)- Includes qualitative semi-structured interviews with social egg freezing users and textual analysis of users' internet forums.

Research Objectives:

(a) In-depth empirical analysis of time in the context of reproductive medicine

(b) A cross sectional analysis of social egg freezing by comparing two national contexts as well as experts and ordinary (lay) ethics

(c) Theorization of the time dimension for the relationship of reproduction, labor and gender

Rimon-Zarfaty, N. and Schweda, M. (2019). Biological clocks, biographical schedules and generational cycles: Temporality in the ethics of assisted reproduction. Bioethica Forum, 11(4): 133-141.

  • June 2019: “Freezing for the fourth and fifth child”- The usage of social egg freezing among Israeli Jewish religious women- An intracultural perspective. Experts Symposium: Comparative and transnational perspectives on technologies of fertility preservation and extension; DMU, Leicester, UK (Invited Talk).
  • May 2019: Reproductive temporalities –A comparative analysis of time constructions among social egg freezing users in Germany and Israel. Workshop: Bioethics and Human Temporality; Oldenburg, Germany (a self-organized workshop).
  • October 2018: TIMING FERTILITY- A comparative analysis of time constructions and the social practice of egg-freezing in Germany and Israel. Stakeholders‘ conference: Social Egg Freezing-  the practice and its implications (a self-organized conference).
  • September 2018: Reproductive temporalities, gender and clinical labor–Experts’ debates on social egg-freezing in Germany and Israel. The 39th Congress of the German Sociological Association, the Georg-August-University of Göttingen, Germany (cfp).
  • July 2018: The Medicalization of reproduction, reproductive timing and the labor market- The Israeli experts’ Debate on social egg-freezing. The 19th ISA world congress, Toronto, Canada (cfp-DP).
  • June 2018: Reproductive temporalities, late motherhood and the social practice of egg freezing in Germany and Israel. The ESHMS 17th Biennial Conference, Lisbon, Portugal (cfp).
  • June 2018: Reproductive temporalities – Experts’ debates on social egg-freezing in Germany and Israel. Colloquia: Institute of History, Theory and Ethics of Medicine, University Medical Center Mainz, Germany (Invited talk).
  • February 2018: Social egg freezing and reproductive temporalities – A comparative study of experts’ debates in Germany and Israel. Colloquia: The Institute of Medical History and Science Research, Lübeck University, Germany (Invited talk).
  • October 2017: Reproductive Timing: A comparative analysis of temporality constructions and the social practice of egg freezing in Germany and Israel. Paper presented at the conference: Frozen: Social and Bioethical Aspects of Cryo-Fertility, Tel-Aviv, Israel (cfp).
  • April 2017: The Construction of Time, Timing and Planning: A comparative case study of the social practice of egg freezing in Germany and Israel. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Minerva Stiftung Fellowship Program- as the representor of fellowships’ holders, the Max Planck Society, Munich, Germany (Invited talk).
  • March 2017: TIMING FERTILITY- A Gender Sensitive Analysis of Time Constructions and the Social Practice of Egg-Freezing in Israel.  Paper presented at the conference: Politiken der Reproduktion – Politics of Reproduction, Hannover, Germany (cfp).
  • January 2017: The construction of time, timing and planning- a comparative case study of the social practice of egg freezing in Germany and Israel. Paper presented at the Department of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine Colloquium, University Medical Center Goettingen, Germany (Invited talk).
  • May 2019: Bioethics and Human Temporality: Perspectives from the Beginning, Middle and End of Life- An international, interdisciplinary workshop; Oldenburg, Germany (Co-organizer: Prof. Dr. Mark Schweda).
  • October 2018: Stakeholders’ Conference: Social Egg Freezing. Stakeholders’ perspectives on the practice and its implications; Tel Aviv, Israel.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 749889.


2014 – 2017: Research Project: "Cross-Cultural Reproductive Ethics: Germany and India"

Carried out by:
Dr. Sheela Saravanan
Julia Perry, M.A. jperry(at)gwdg.de

Contact:
Prof. Dr. Silke Schicktanz sschick(at)gwdg.de
Funding: German Research Foundation (DFG)
Duration: 2014–2017

Reproductive technologies such as prenatal diagnosis (PND) and In-vitro Fertilization (IVF) offer a plethora of possibilities for individuals to plan their family. Some of these possibilities include surrogacy, egg/sperm donation and selective abortions. However, differential socio-cultural conditions and legal guidelines have led to individuals either carving out desired possibilities in the existing cultural context and/or seeking transnational reproductive health care services. These activities redefine the concept of global health care and opens up contested avenues in which the use of reproductive technologies in the backdrop of individual and collective socio-cultural notions of desires, infertility, religion and kinship are in interface with legal regulations, health care services and medical ethics discourses. The projects on reproductive technologies features the ethical discourse of the growing global use of these technologies and the socio-ethical and regulatory challenges that it has posed in Europe and Asia. 

Prenatal and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis makes it possible for people to choose their desired children based on genetic attributes such as; gender and disability. The known reasons for such selective abortions include attributes such as; (un)desirable gender, sensory, cognitive, or physical impairment, or desired genetic properties. Ethical voices and the gender/disability rights movement worldwide raise concerns that selecting attributes of children based on gender, disease or disability is morally problematic because it embodies and reinforces prejudices. This study aims to examine individual notion of a desired child (Wunschkinder/Vansh) shaped by the social experiences in the German and Indian contexts that lead to selective abortions. The research draws conceptually on the works of Mead 1962, symbolic interactionism between the self and the generalized other, Lindemann 1996, Kessler and McKenna 1978, gender and disability as a social construct in the context of Körper and Leib in shaping the notion of desired children. This study applies methodological approaches of Garfinkels, (1967) phenomenology in ethnomethodology as it provides insight on individual conduct/thought and forms of social organization. Qualitative methodology of in-depth interviews will be used in clinical and family settings in Germany and India with mothers and family members and structured interviews will be conducted with medical practitioners and personnel from research institutions and selected government programmes. This will add knowledge conceptually and methodologically to the above given theories and research methods. The cross-cultural analysis is a significant aspect of this study because it aims to bring out the deeper life mechanisms that are embedded in different cultural frameworks. The notion of Wunschkinder in Germany and India has not been examined earlier, this study aims to fill in this gap and contribute in a unique way to the ongoing socio-ethical debates on prenatal screening and selective abortions.

Prof. Tulsi Patel
Delhi School of Economics
University of Delhi

Prof. Dr. med. Günter Emons and Frau Dr. med. Barbara Felke 
Die Universitätsfrauenklinik Göttingen. 
Robert-Koch-Str. 40, 37075 Göttingen
(http://wwwuser.gwdg.de/~ukfh/UFK/perinatalzentrum.html)


2014 – 2016: Research Project: "Contested Avenues of Reproductive Technologies: A Study of Transnational Transfers and Cross-cultural Practices"

Carried out by:
Prof. Dr. Silke Schicktanz (head of the German research team)
Prof. Dr. Tulsi Patel (head of the Indian research team)
Dr. Sheela Saravanan (researcher in the DFG project) 
Dr. Sayani Mitra
Ms. Garima Yadav (PhD student at University of Delhi)

Contact:
Prof. Dr. Silke Schicktanz sschick(at)gwdg.de
Funding: German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the University Grants Commission, India
Duration:2014–2016

Assisted reproductive technologies (ART) such as prenatal diagnosis (PND) and In-vitro Fertilization (IVF) offer a plethora of possibilities for individuals to plan their family. Some of these possibilities include; surrogacy, selective abortions. However, differential socio-cultural conditions and legal guidelines have led to individuals either carving out desired possibilities based on the existing cultural context and/or seeking transnational reproductive health care services. This study aims to explore in a German-Indian context, how these assisted reproductive technologies redefine global health care and open up contested avenues in which individual and collective socio-cultural notions of desires, infertility, religion and kinship are in interface with legal regulations, health care services and medical ethics discourses. The proposed project is a significant contribution to the ethical discourse of the growing global use of assisted reproductive technologies and the socio-ethical and regulatory challenges that it has posed. The aim of the project is to strengthen network based on the common research interests through sharing information, guiding students, joint publications and to evolve into a larger Indo-German socio-ethical project on genomics and reproductive technologies.


2010 – 2015: DFG Research Training Group: "Dynamics of Space and Gender" (University of Göttingen & University of Kassel)

Carried out by:
Dr. Solveig Lena Hansen shansen(at)gwdg.de

Contact:
Prof. Dr. Silke Schicktanz sschick(at)gwdg.de
Funding: German Research Foundation (DFG)
Duration: 2010–2015

the project on the DFG website

The interdisciplinary Research Training Group seeks to explore the interactions between space and gender as they are constructed in present-day and historical societies both in and outside of Europe: "doing space while doing gender". In this Research Training Group we intend to investigate explicit as well as implicit gender-specific dimensions of how spaces are constructed and experienced.

Our starting-point is the finding that in much recent work on space, the category “gender” becomes increasingly de-emphasised as the focus of the research becomes broader or more global. The subtitle of the Research Training Group refers to the constructed character of the concepts space and gender (discovering, inventing); it also highlights the aspect of imagination inherent in these concepts, both in literature and in the social world (inventing, narrating); and finally, it draws attention to the aspect of power relations and domination or control (discovering, conquering). Using sociological, ethnological, literary-theoretical and historical approaches, students focus on four (distinct) areas of concentration within the broad thematic field of space and gender: theoretical dimensions will provide a shared foundation; the three other areas of concentration are dimensions of embodiment, dimensions of location and dimensions of entanglement.

This doctoral programme places special emphasis on the notion of interdisciplinary cooperation as a never-ending learning process. The interrelations between dimensions of space and gender will be the topic of an ongoing discussion that includes colloquia, research groups and workshops as well as a programme of visiting scholars and guest lectures. In addition, an accompanying training programme in personal skills will help prepare doctoral candidates for a variety of career paths after earning their degrees. Close supervision by faculty mentors and a clearly designed course of study will help to ensure their success.


2010 – 2012: Research Project: "Cross-Cultural Ethics of Health and Responsibility: Expert and Lay Perspectives Regarding Bioethical Dilemmas in Germany and Israel

Carried out by:
Dr. Julia Inthorn
Dr. Nitzan Rimon-Zarfaty

Contact:
Prof. Dr. Silke Schicktanz sschick(at)gwdg.de
Funding: German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development (GIF)
Duration: 2010–2012

Previous studies have shown Israel and Germany to constitute opposites in terms of professional culture, and their juxtaposition is thus expected to highlight the context of cultural variation and pluralism in the moral assessment and evaluation of bioethical dilemmas. However, we also expect to find overarching principles, moral attitudes and general social conflicts related to health care and research in biomedicine which are shared by Israeli and German lay people - patients and non-patients. These overarching phenomena might offer a basis for developing cross-cultural robust ethical principles for biomedicine. 

Against this background, the research project "Cross-Cultural Ethics of Health and Responsibility: Expert and lay perspectives regarding bioethical dilemmas in Germany and Israel" extends the conventional comparative analysis of expert discourse in Germany and Israel by exploring the 'public moralities' of lay people (including those affected by a disease) regarding responsibility in the context of end-of-life (EoL) decisions and genetic testing (GT) of adults. In addition to the analysis of guidelines and bioethical expert discourses, the methodology comprises focus group discussions with lay persons comprising affected, religious, and national categories. Major topics we are interested in include lay notions of responsibility, hopes/fears, duties and rights when using, discussing or rejecting biomedical options such as genetics and advance directives for planning family or one's life. These will be further compared within the context of other important cultural factors such as religion, concepts of health/illness and consumerism. 

The main research steps are: 

  1. Analysis of comparative background and baseline information; 
  2. Focus groups with lay people in Germany and Israel; 
  3. Comparative analysis of moral argumentation, especially regarding constructions of responsibility; 
  4. Comparative analysis of cultural factors underlying moral argumentation; 
  5. Reflection and dialogue, including meta-ethical and methodological aspects of the inter-relations between empirical and ethical assumptions.

The current project is part of a continuing enterprise comprising several research projects and workshops. Preliminary studies conducted by Raz and Schicktanz (2009a,b) examined lay attitudes (including attitudes of people affected by genetic diseases) in Germany and Israel towards genetic testing of adults, focusing on the differences between cultural and personal argumentations, as well as between affected and non-affected perspectives. With regard to three major emerging themes – medical technology/technocratic medicine; economic aspects of healthcare; and personal decision-making – a national contrast was apparent on the cultural level of argumentation, but not in the personal context of decision-making or in the concerns of people affected by genetic diseases. Preliminary analysis revealed three major themes of 'genetic responsibility' towards risk, where national differences need to be studied further: self-responsibility, responsibility for kin, and responsibility of society towards its members. In the context of end of life (EoL) policies, our preliminary comparisons revealed Israel to be more restrictive in relation to Germany in terms of how patients' autonomy and doctors' duties are morally and legally balanced, for example with respect to the withholding and withdrawing of medical treatment in EoL situations and the implementation of advance directives (Schicktanz, Raz, and Shalev, 2010).

"The Culture and Ethics of Biomedicine," series of lectures from the University Medical Center Göttingen, November/December 2009.
You can find the program of the series of lectures here (PDF)

"Genetics and Society: Practices/Positions, Expert/Public Discourses," BGU, December 2008. Work presented in this workshop was published in a special essay symposium (co-edited by Raz and Schicktanz, 2010) of the journal New Genetics and Society. (link to the website of the journal) 

"The Influence of Religion and Culture on Biomedical Sciences: A German-Israeli Dialogue about Medical Possibilities at the Edges of Life," November 2007, The Protestant Academy, Berlin.
You can find a documentation here (PDF) (in German)

Raz, A., and S. Schicktanz (2009a). Lay Perceptions of Genetic Testing in Germany and Israel. New Genetics and Society 28(4): 401-414.

Raz, A., and S. Schicktanz (2009b). Diversity and Uniformity in Genetic Responsibility: Moral Attitudes of Patients, Relatives and Lay People in Germany and Israel. Medicine, Healthcare and Philosophy 12(4): 433-442.

Raz, A., and S. Schicktanz (2010a). Through the Looking Glass: Engaging in a Socio-Ethical, Cross-Cultural Dialogue. New Genetics and Society 29(1): 55-59.

Schicktanz, S., A. Raz, and C. Shalev (2010b). Cultural Impacts on End of Life Ethics: A Cross-Comparative Study between Germany and Israel. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, 19,  3, 381-394.

Schicktanz, S., Raz A. & Shalev C. (2010c) The cultural context of patient autonomy and doctors duties: Passive euthanasia and advance directives in Germany and Israel. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 13(4), 363-369.

New Genetics and Society (2010), special issue: Genetics and Responsibilities: Cultural Perspectives, Public Discourses and Ethical Issues, guest editors: S. Schicktanz and A. Raz.

Medicine Studies (2012), thematic issue: Responsibility in Biomedical Practice, guest editors: S. Schicktanz and A. Raz.


2010: Workshop: "’Moving Bodies – Transforming Vlaues': Socio-Cultural and Ethical Issues of Transnational Biomedicine"

Organized by:
Prof. Dr. Silke Schicktanz
Prof. Dr. Tutsi Patel
(in cooperation with the Max-Planck-Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity)

Contact:
Prof. Dr. Silke Schicktanz sschick(at)gwdg.de
Funding: German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) undGeorg-August-Universität Göttingen – India Office (UGILO)
Duration: 2010

Project website

Biomedicine and the related bioethical problems were only associated with highly industrialised, Western health care systems for a long time. Today, most non-Western or developing countries also face the implemen-tation of biomedicine on different levels – and the rise of cutural, social and ethical questions.

The workshop aims at analysing the relationship between local and global biomedical practices from a social and an ethical point of view. The connectedness and mutual dependence of cultural variety, national legal and economic frameworks and, additionally, public trust in and responsibility of the medical profession can best be highlighted and examined by a cross-cultural comparison. For this purpose, the juxtaposition of India and Germany provides an ideal setting. While in both countries, biomedical research and practise are well established, they differ in the cultural framing with regard to factors such as medical tradition, religion/secularity and gender as well as in the socio-economical background.

Within this field, special attention should be drawn to the gender dimension in biomedicine and health issues. Medical tourism, mobility of body and body parts, giving birth, ageing and health care will be discussed.

A closed workshop with sufficient time for discussion and interdisciplinary exchange is scheduled to ensure an intensive dialogue between the different disciplines.

You can dowlndoad the workshop flyer here (PDF)


2007 – 2009: Research Project: "Biomedical Culture and Ethics in German-Israelic Comparison"

Carried out by:
Prof. Dr. Silke Schicktanz

Contact:
Prof. Dr. Silke Schicktanz sschick(at)gwdg.de
Funding: 2009: Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and Culture (NMWK); 2008: German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF); 2007– 2008: German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development (GIF)
Duration: 2007–2009

The research project "Biomedical Culture and Ethics in German-Israelic Comparison" focuses on the intersection between ethics, social sciences and life sciences on a cross-cultural level.

Here you can find a detailed description of the project and workshops


2004 – 2007: Research Project: "Challenges of Biomedicine – Socio-Cultural Contexts, European Governance, and Bioethics"

Carried out by:
Dr. Mark Schweda

Contact:
Prof. Dr. Silke Schicktanz sschick(at)gwdg.de
Funding: European Commission, 6th Framework programme "Science and Society"
Duration: 2004–2007

Short description:
The socio-cultural background of modern biomedicine was examined in a comparative analysis of qualitative empirical data gathered in different European countries: Germany, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Austria and Cyprus. Moreover, perspectives from Latvia and Great Britain were taken into account selectively. The emphasis of the project lies on the question how laypeople and patients view modern medicine and live with it. The interactions and interdependencies between medicine and culture were analysed along two main comparative axes. On a first level the countries involved were compared to trace different cultural approaches. Secondly, two different medical technologies, organ transplantation and postnatal genetic testing, were used as comparative examples. These two technologies raise different ethical and social problems and hence challenges for governance. 

On this basis, the CoB project developed conclusions and recommendations for the academic context as well as for European and national policy makers. These address questions of European harmonisation, citizen participation and governance as well as bioethical issues.

You can also find the report "Biomedicine as a Socio-cultural and Ethical Challenge: Final Points to Consider and Recommendations for European and National Policy Makers and European Research" here (PDF)

More detailed information about this project

Overview:

  • Qualitative comparative research on different socio-culturally framed ways of dealing with modern biomedicine in selected European countries
  • Investigation on how members of the public assess the impact of modern biomedical technologies on their body, identity, ways of knowing and social relations 
  • Analysis of how European citizens reflect on the socio-political consequences of modern biomedical technologies, different modes of governance as well as opportunities of public participation 
  • Investigation of the role of cultural concepts like identity and bodily integrity in the present bioethical discourse
  • Reflection and evaluation of the consequences of the cultural plurality of moral conceptions on the debate on European bioethics 
  • Recommendations for the development of ethical regulations and possibilities of governing research and practise in the field of medicine and life sciences
  • Contribution to interdisciplinary research at the interface of bioethics, social studies of science and medical anthropology
  • Advancement of qualitative comparative methods for investigating patients’ and laypeople’s attitudes towards questions of biomedicine in an international and interdisciplinary research setting
  • Development of key concepts for an intercultural bioethical discourse 
  • Establishment and structuring of a European network for the exploration of biomedicine from an ethical and sociological point of view

K. Amelang, S. Beck, V. Anastasiadou-Christophidou, C. Constantinou, A. Johansson & S. Lundin. 2011. Learning to Eat Strawberries in a Disciplined Way: Normalization Practices Following Organ Transplantati in. Ethnologia Europaea, Vol. 41, Nr. 2, pp. 54-70.  

A. Putnina. 2011. Chapter 6. Managing Trust and Risk in New Biotechnologies: The Case of Population Genome Project and Organ Transplantation in Latvia. In: Robbins, Peter & Huzair, Farah (eds.). 2012. Exploring Central and Eastern Europe’s Biotechnology Landscape. Volume 9 of the series The International Library of Ethics, Law and Technology, pp. 111-129. 

P. Chavot, A. Masseran. 2008. Choisir une technologie, préférer un mode de vie ? Mises en sens des transplantations d’organes [Choose a technology, prefer a lifestyle? Making sense out of organ transplantation]. Éthique et Santé, Vol. 5, Issue 2, pp. 96–102. 

S. Schicktanz, J.W. Rieger, B. Lüttenberg. 2006. Gender Disparity in Living Kidney Transplantation: A Comparison of Global, Mid-European and German Data and their Ethical Relevance. Transplantationsmedizin, Vol. 18, pp. 30-37.

S. Schicktanz, M. Schweda, M. Franzen. 2008. ‘In a completely different light’? – The role of 'being affected' for the epistemic perspectives and moral attitudes of patients, relatives and lay people. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy, Vol. 11, pp. 57-72.

S. Schicktanz, M. Schweda, S. Wöhlke. 2010. Gender issues in living organ donation: medical, social and ethical aspects. In: Klinge, Ineke; Wiesemann, Claudia (eds.): Sex and Gender in Biomedicine. Theories, Methedologies and Results, Göttingen.

S. Beck, K. Amelang. 2010. Comparison in the wild and more disciplined usages of an epistemic practice. In: Thomas Scheffer, Jörg Niewöhner: Thick Comparison. Reviving the Ethnographic Aspiration. Leiden/Boston, Brill, pp. 155–179. 

U. Felt, M. Fochler, A. Mager & P. Winkler. 2008. Visions and Versions of Governing Biomedicine: Narratives on Power Structures, Decision-making and Public Participation in the Field of Biomedical Technology in the Austrian Context. Social Studies of Science, Vol. 38, Issue 2, pp. 233-255.

U. Felt, M. Fochler and P. Winkler. 2010. Coming to Terms with Biomedical Technologies in Different Techno-Political Cultures: A Comparative Analysis of Focus Groups on Organ Transplantation and Genetic Testing in Austria, France and the Netherlands. Science, Technology, & Human Values, Vol. 35, Issue 4, pp. 525-553. 

A. Putnina (2012). Managing Trust and Risk in New Biotechnologies: The Case of Population Genome Project and Organ Transplantation in Latvia. In: Exploring Central and Eastern Europe’s Biotechnology Landscape. Volume 9 of the series The International Library of Ethics, Law and Technology, pp. 111-129.

H. Röcklinsberg. 2009. The Complex Use of Religion in Decisions on Organ Transplantation. J Relig Health, Vol. 48, pp. 62-78. 

den Dikken, A. 2011. Body enhancement: body images, vulnerability and moral responsibility. Utrecht University.

M. Düwell. 2005. Sozialwissenschaften, Gesellschaftstheorie und Ethik. In: Jahrbuch für Wissenschaft und Ethik 10, pp. 5-22.

M. Düwell: Needs, Capacities and Morality. Over Problems of the Liberal to Deal with the Life Sciences. In: M. Düwell et al. (eds.). 2008. The Contingent Nature of Life. Springer Science+Business Media B.V., pp. 119-130. 

N. M. Nijsingh, M. Düwell: Interdisciplinarity, applied ethics and social science research. In: Sollie, Paul, Düwell, Marcus (Eds.). Evaluating New Technologies, Volume 3 of the series The International Library of Ethics, Law and Technology pp 79-92. 

S. Schicktanz. 2007. Why the way we consider the body matters – Reflections on four bioethical perspectives on the human body. Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine, Vol. 2, Issue 30, pp. 1-12. 

M. Schweda, S. Schicktanz. 2009. “The Spare Parts Person” – Public Moralities concerning Donation and Disposition of Organs and what Academic Bioethics can learn from them. Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine, Vol. 4, Issue 4, pp. 1-10.

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