Institute of Ethics, History and Theory of Medicine

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Current research projects

The historiography of medicine deals with the development of the physician’s practice, nursing and (institutional) health care as well as scientific medicine since antiquity. Our institute puts an emphasis, on the one hand, on the classical tradition of the Greek-Roman-Byzantine art of healing, on the other hand on the history of medical sciences in the 19th and 20th century – both perspectives similarly highlight the continuities and transformations of the medical profession(s), their self-conception and their social as well as scientific legitimacy. The differentiation of medicine into discipline, the ethical reflection on its possibilities and limits, the relation between individual responsibility, professional authority and provisioning by the state, its economization and politization all make the historical perspective on medicine a paradigmatic topic of the current discourse on and within medicine. This perspective is continuously represented and deepened at our institute by several research projects as well as conveyed in medical teaching.