Dr. Merle Weßel

+49 (0)441 798 - 4304


Postal Address

Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg
School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Department for Health Services Research
Division for Ethics in Medicine
Ammerländer Heerstr. 114-118
D-26129 Oldenburg

Visiting Address

Campus Haarentor, Buildung V04 (1-106)
Ammerländer Heerstraße 140 
D-26129 Oldenburg

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Intersectional and ethical perspectives on ageing and body weight in health care

Project Description

older people will become an important topic in the areas of medicine and public health. At the same time the body weight constitutes a relevant factor when developing preventing measures against obesity and conducting bariatric surgery. The prevention paradigm and the demand for “successful”, “active” and “healthy” ageing requires to re-negotiate norms and understandings of bodies and ageing.

The project focuses on the connection between ageing and body weight:

  1. From an empirical perspective; we explore in which areas of the health care system discrimination occur due to old age and body weight and which salutogenic resources of the affected people are relevant.
  2. From an ethical perspective; we explore to what extend old obese people face particular discrimination in relation to access to treatment and preventive measures and we ask from a perspective of social and distributive justice what a fair access to salutogenic resources requires.

The theoretical framework consists of approaches to social and distributive justice as well as of intersectionality. We will conduct interviews with affected people and relevant experts. The aim is to develop an empirical founded ethical understanding of the societal discussion and medical practice at the intersection of old age and obesity.

Project Team

Dr. Solveig Lena Hansen, University of Bremen

Dr. Merle Weßel, Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg

Sarah de Marco, Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg

Linda Sweers, University of Bremen


The project is funded by the Impuls-Research Funding of the Association of Northern German Universities.

(Changed: 19 Jan 2024)  | 
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