1. 2125Mar.2022

    Qualitative health research has gained relevace in recent years. The ethical review of qualitative health research poses various ethical and practical challenges for qualitative researchers and members of ethics committees and this has stirred up a lively international debate.

    Legal regulations, ethical codes and research ethical infrastructures differ from country to country, even if the fundamental ethical questions are the same.The aim of this international spring school is to bring together early-career (PhDs and postdocs) and senior researchers from various disciplines to critically examine ethical issues in qualitative health research. 


    principles of research ethics

    international ethical guidelines and national discipline-specific ethical codes

    legal regulation and research ethical ethical infrastructures

    ethical review practices

    procedural ethics and ethics of practice

    informed consent and competence to consent

    risk-benefit assessment

    data protection and anonymization

    relationship between researchers and research participants



    Hella von Unger, Professor of Sociology at the Ludwig-Maximilian University, Germany and chairperson of the ethics committee of the faculty of Social Sciences

    Michael Schönhuth, Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Trier, Germany

    Kristin Margrete Heggen, Professor of Health Science at the University of Oslo, Norway

    Henrika Jormfeldt, Professor of Nursing at the University of Halmstad, Sweden

    The spring school will take place at the Institute for Medical Ethics and History of Medicine of the Ruhr University Bochum from March 21-25, 2022.

    Participants with a background in health science, nursing science, social science, social anthropology, medical ethics or psychology preferably from Germany, Norway and Sweden are invited to present their research at the workshop.

    Applicants are asked to send an abstract in English on any of the subtopics (300-400 words) along with a short CV to

    Submit your application by January 9, 2022.

    Accepted participants will give a presentation of 25 minutes, followed by a 30-minutes discussion. The conference language is English. All participants are invited to prepare a manuscript and to submit it for publication in a special issue.


    Travel expenses and costs for accommodation will be reimbursed. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is included. Participants will receive a remuneration of € 300 for preparing a manuscript that is ready for submission to the special issue.

    1. 21. Mar. 2022
    Self-binding directives in mental health care – International perspectives – Midterm Symposium
  1. 30Sep.2021
    Online meeting

    Self-binding directives (or Ulysses contracts) are a special type of psychiatric advance directive by means of which mental health service users can give advance consent to compulsory hospital admission or treatment during a future mental health crisis. There is an ongoing philosophical debate over the ethical opportunities and risks of self-binding directives. This conference focuses on the attitudes of stakeholders (notably service users, informal caregivers and professionals) toward self-binding directives, with a focus on Germany, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom. New qualitative empirical evidence will be presented and discussed from an international perspective.

    Partizipative Forschung – Digitaler Workshop der BMBF-Forschungsgruppe SALUS
  1. 2930Sep.2021

    Partizipative, kollaborative und betroffenen-kontrollierte Forschung hat in den letzten Jahren insbesondere in den Gesundheitswissenschaften zunehmend an Bedeutung gewonnen. Trotz der gemeinsamen Zielsetzung, gesellschaftliche Akteur:innen als Co-Forscher:innen an Wissenschaft zu beteiligen und diese individuell und kollektiv zu stärken, existiert eine große Diversität an Ansätzen. Ziel des Workshops ist es, diese Diversität an Forschungsansätzen mit ihren Stärken und Schwächen am Beispiel ausgewählter Forschungsprojekte kennenzulernen und mit den Forscher:innen kritisch zu diskutieren. Darüber hinaus können eigene partizipative Forschungsprojekte entwickelt werden.

    1. 29. Sep. 2021
    2. 30. Sep. 2021

    3. Flyer-SALUS_Workshop-Partizipative-Forschung_öffentlich.pdf
    Zwang im Voraus planen? Risiken und Chancen von Odysseus-Verfügungen in der Psychiatrie – Midterm Symposium
  1. 2930Sep.2021

    Odysseus-Verfügungen stellen eine besondere Form einer Patientenverfügung bzw. Behandlungsvereinbarung dar, in der Betroffene im Voraus festlegen können, dass sie in einem späteren Zustand der Einwilligungsunfähigkeit während einer psychischen Krise gegen ihren Willen in ein psychiatrisches Krankenhaus gebracht und ggf. auch behandelt werden wollen. In der medizinethischen Diskussion wird eine Vielzahl von Risiken und Chancen von Odysseus-Verfügungen diskutiert. Das Midterm Symposium der Bochumer BMBF-Forschungsgruppe SALUS verfolgt das Ziel, diese Risiken und Chancen aus einer interdisziplinären und trialogischen Perspektive zu erörtern.

    1. 29. Sep. 2021
    2. 30. Sep. 2021

    3. Flyer-Midterm-Symposium-SALUS-1.pdf
    Book Symposium and Public Lecture
  1. 2728Jun.2019

    In Men in White Coats (OUP, 2018), George Szmukler discusses a wide array of ethical problems related to involuntary medical treatment in psychiatry, arguing that mental health laws warranting involuntary treatment based on the presence of a ‘mental disorder’ and a ‘risk to self or others’ discriminate against persons with mental disorders. As a solution to this problem, Szmukler develops a ‘Fusion Law Proposal,’ which bases involuntary treatment squarely on a lack of decision-making capability and ensures that involuntary treatment respects the rights, will and preferences of the person under treatment.


    Registration for the public lecture is not necessary. To register for the workshop, please send a brief e-mail to Having read the chapters is not a requirement for participation in the workshop, but copies of the chapters can be made available upon request.


    The lecture and book symposium are organized by the Bochum SALUS project. The Bochum SALUS project is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

    1. 27. Jun. 2019
      Alexandrinenstraße 1-3
      Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Preventive Medicine, LWL University Hospital Ruhr University Bochum
      Seminar Room 3
      George Szmukler, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry and Society, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neurosience, King's College London
    2. 28. Jun. 2019
      Malakowturm / Markstraße 258a
      Institute for Medical Ethics and History of Medicine
      Seminar Room, 7th floor
      George Szmukler
    Bochum Salus Project Public Lecture
  1. 9May.2019
    1. 16301800
      Alexandrinenstraße 3
      Klinik für Psychiatrie, Psychotherapie und Präventivmedizin, LWL-Universitätsklinikum, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
      Konferenzraum 3
      Andrea zur Nieden
      Psychiatrischer Alltag: Zwang und Reform in den Anstalten des Landschaftsverbandes Rheinland (1970 - 1990)
    Workshop and lecture on decision-making capacity by Louis C. Charland
  1. 5Dec.2018

    On December 5, Louis C. Charland will give a workshop at the Institute for Medical Ethics and History of Medicine and a lecture at the LWL University Hospital of the Ruhr University Bochum. Louis Charland is Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario and he is author of the Stanford Encyclopedia article on decision-making capacity. Abstracts can be found below.

    Attendance is free. Registration for the lecture is not required. To register for the workshop, please send a short message to

    These events are organized by the BMBF research group SALUS ( The SALUS group is sponsored by the German Ministry of Education and Research.

    1. 10001200
      Markstraße 258a
      Institute for Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, Ruhr University Bochum
      Seminar room on the 7th floor
      Louis C. Charland
      Decision-Making Capacity and Informed Consent: A Role for Emotions

      Decision-Making Capacity and Informed Consent: A Role for Emotions

      Theories of informed consent, and in particular the element of decision-making capacity in informed consent, tend to be framed in cognitive terms. When emotions are considered, they are only recognized in terms of their negative contribution to consent and capacity: how they interfere, compromise, or impair consent. However, this negative portrayal of emotions as ‘enemies of reason’ and impairments of cognition can be argued to be clinically inaccurate as emotions also figure positively in human decision-making and deliberation. What positive role then could emotions play in consent and could emotion even be necessary for valid consent?

    2. 16001730
      Louis C. Charland
      Loss of Control and Addiction

      Loss of Control and Addiction

      Loss of control is a defining feature of many leading contemporary theories of addiction. However, on close analysis, the concept proves to be very elusive. Few clinical scientists seem to openly admit that loss of control occurs outside of episodes of intoxication and withdrawal, and to date clinical research on the topic has been virtually nil. On their side, philosophers and social critics often deny that there is ever any true or final loss of control in addiction, arguing it is ultimately a ‘choice’. What role then is there for the concept of loss of control in addiction beyond intoxication and withdrawal? Research on the role of decision-making capacity in informed consent offers some interesting suggestions how to approach this question.

    Bochum Salus Project Public Lecture
  1. 8Nov.2018
    1. 16301800
      Alexandrinenstraße 3
      Klinik für Psychiatrie, Psychotherapie und Präventivmedizin, LWL-Universitätsklinikum, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
      Konferenzraum 3
      Tanja Henking
      Die S3-Leitlinie "Verhinderung von Zwang: Prävention und Therapie Aggressiven Verhaltens bei Erwachsenen" – Rechtliche und Ethische Perspektiven