Prof. Dr. Mark Schweda

+49 (0)441 798-5824


Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg
Fakultät VI - Medizin und Gesundheitswissenschaften
Department für Versorgungsforschung
Abteilung Ethik in der Medizin
Ammerländer Heerstr. 114-118
26129 Oldenburg


Campus Haarentor, Gebäude V04
Ammerländer Heerstraße 140
26129 Oldenburg

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Workshop Bioethics and Human Temporality

Workshop Bioethics and Human Temporality

Perspectives from the Beginning, Middle and End of Life

Perspectives from the Beginning, Middle and End of Life

International Workshop
27.-28.05.2019 in Oldenburg

Schlaues Haus
Schlossplatz 16
26122 Oldenburg


The role of temporality in bioethical debates has long been neglected: What does it mean for bioethical reasoning that life is lived, experienced, and understood as a process in time with fundamental temporal characteristics such as directedness, irreversibility, or finality? What does it mean that life is traditionally interpreted in terms of a particular temporal structure and extension, including a sequence of phases or stages connected to different social roles, norms and expectations? What does it mean that certain medical interventions and accompanying moral questions and conflicts focus on particular points in life?
The lack of reflection on the relevance of human temporality becomes particularly salient in ethical discussions at the beginning and end of life. Many bioethical discussions on the beginning of life rest on moral assumptions about the development of human existence over time. An example are the debates on prenatal diagnosis and abortion and the underlying models of phases of embryonic/fetal development, or the bioethical discussions on informed consent and parental proxy decision making in the treatment of neonates. Bioethical debates on reproduction also exemplify the importance of temporality. For example, the common metaphor of the “biological clock” encompasses concerns about (reproductive) ageing and the finality of women’s reproduction. It thus raises questions regarding the legitimacy of reproductive technolo-gies as medical solutions to reconcile the tension between “biological” and “social time”. Finally, medical interventions in the fields of geriatric medicine and biogerontology challenge common views of aging and the life course while promoting more ambitious standards of health, fitness, and functionality for later life. In addition, progress in therapies and end-of-life care blur the demarcation line between “standard” care and “exceptional”, life prolonging measures, and even between life and death.
This international and interdiciplinary workshop aims to discuss the role and relevance of temporality for ethical reasoning in the field of biomedicine, healthcare, and the life sciences at the beggining, middle and end of life. It aims to develop a more concrete, empirically informed and culturally sensitive perspective on bioethics and human temporality.


DAY 1: Monday, May 27th 2019
11:30-12:00 Registration and coffee
12:00-12:30 Welcome and introduction – Mark Schweda & Nitzan Rimon-Zarfaty
Session 1: Medical care and decision making at the beginning of life (Chair: Nitzan Rimon-Zarfaty)
12:30-13:15 Ari Schick (the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute)
Wellbeing and time: Toward a tempo-rally extended conception of health
13:15-14:00 Limor Meoded Danon (the Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
Bio-politics, temporality and ambiguous bodies
14:00-14:45 Solveig Lena Hansen (University Medical Center Göttingen) Narrating the ‘future self’: How the analysis of cloning novels can contribute to bioethics
14.45-15:15 Coffee break
Session 2: Reproduction, social freezing and the role of temporality (Chair: Mark Schweda)
15:15-16:00 Nolwenn Bühler (University of Lausanne and University of Neuchâtel)
Assisting fertility extension? The age limits of motherhood between nature, medicine, and society
16:00-16:45 Claudia Bozzaro (University of Freiburg)
Social-egg freezing as liberation from biological and social time constraints?
16:45-17:30 Naomi Gershoni (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)
The impact of extended reproductive time horizons: Evidence from Israel's expansion of access to IVF
17:30-18:15 Nitzan Rimon-Zarfaty (University Medical Center Göttingen)
Reproductive temporalities – A comparative analysis of time constructions and the social practice of egg-freezing in Germany and Israel
19:00 Contributors’ dinner
DAY 2: Tuesday, May 28th 2019
Session 3: End of life care and decision making (Chair: Nitzan Rimon-Zarfaty)
09:00-9:45 Julia Perry (University Medical Center Göttingen)
Advance research directives: Anticipa-ting future research commitment in the context of dementia
9:45-10:30 Mark Schweda (University of Oldenburg) & Karin Jongsma (University Medical Center Utrecht)
Return to childhood? Against the infantilization of people with dementia
10:30-11:15 Jozef Dorscheidt (University of Groningen) 'End-of-Life Decisions in Pediatrics; the Dutch health law perspective'
11:15-12:00 Open discussion / Wrap-up and closing remarks – Mark Schweda & Nitzan Rimon-Zarfaty
12:00-13:00 Farewell lunch



Due to limited space, registration is required by May 1st, 2019
Please register via email:
The workshop is free of cost, lunch on the 28th is included.


Prof. Dr. Mark Schweda
Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg
School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Health Services Research
Ammerländer Heerstr. 114-118
26111 Oldenburg (Germany)
Tel. +49 (0)441 798 4483
Fax +49 (0)441 798 5824
Http: https://uol.de/medizinethik/mitarbeiter/prof-dr-mark-schweda/

Dr. Nitzan Rimon-Zarfaty
University Medical Center Göttingen
Dept. of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine
Humboldtallee 36
D-37073 Göttingen (Germany)
Tel. +49 (0)551-39 8649
Fax +49 (0)55139 95 54
Http: http://www.egm.med.uni-goettingen.de

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

(Stand: 30.11.2021)