Bioethics Forum

Health Care: Legal and Ethical Aspects of Preventive Medicine

dbb forum berlin, Atrium I + II, Friedrichstraße 169/170, 10117 Berlin


With discussions about a nutrition traffic light labelling, the smoking ban or bonus systems of health insurance companies to promote a healthy lifestyle, preventive medicine is increasingly gaining public attention. The aim is to prevent potential illness by addressing the assumed causes or reducing risk factors and to promote health. It is about maintaining quality of life into old age. In this context, strengthening personal responsibility is an important aspect.

In addition to individual prevention, measures that may change the framework conditions in deprived areas, schools, kindergartens and workplaces are to be strengthened. Prevention is relevant both with regard to demographic trends and the associated increase in chronic diseases, and for promoting equal health opportunities for children and adolescents.

A range of questions arises in connection with prevention, such as:

  • What possibilities exist for exerting influence and whom do they reach?
  • How do personal responsibility and state intervention interact?
  • What are ethical concerns?
  • Under what conditions are prevention measures appropriate and socially just?

Dr. Julika Loss, academic senior lecturer at the Institute for Medical Management and Health Sciences at the University of Bayreuth, will introduce the topic from a medical point of view. Dr. Harald Schmidt, Assistant Director at the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, London, will address the ethical aspects and Prof. Dr. Stefan Huster from the Chair of Public Law, Constitutional and Administrative Law with special regard to Social Law at the Ruhr University Bochum will talk about the legal issues. The lectures will be followed by a discussion involving members of the German Ethics Council and the audience. Prof. Dr. Bettina Schöne-Seifert, member of the German Ethics Council, chairs the event.