Antibiotic resistance leads to an estimated 25,000 fatalities per year in Europe and is currently increasing rapidly worldwide. Experts warn of a "post-antibiotic" age in which even simple microbial infections could once again become acute threats for individuals and the population at large.
The causes include hygiene deficiencies, over- or misuse of antibiotics, excessive demand by patients, but also the massive use of antibiotics in livestock production as well as economic and regulatory bottlenecks in drug development. In addition, global tourism and migration also contribute to the worsening of the problem. However, the proposed solutions raise ethical and social questions: What are people expected to do today in order to effectively preserve antibiotics for the future? Is it acceptable to interfere with the self-determination of patients and the therapeutic freedom of physicians to increase protection against infection?