It’s done!

We are pleased that the result of our joint work is now finally being published. Since 6.4.2020, “Aging between Participation and Simulation” is available from the publisher DeGruyter. And best of all, thanks to the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the publication is fully Open Access and will be available for download in the next few days.

The goal of our work was to initiate a new discourse on the possibilities and limitations of social assistive technology in the health care system. We are happy to receive reviews and discussions of our work and would like to support everyone in doing so.

If you are interested in a reviewing “Aging between Participation and Simulation”, please contact us.

Publisher’s Preview available

The publisher’s preview of “Aging between Participation and Simulation” is now available. The publication will include 14 contributions by more than 30 scientist from all over europe.

Challenges ahead… publication forthcoming

It is with pleasure that we announce some big steps in our efforts to establish an interdisciplinary discourse on ethical dimensions of socially assistive technologies. After signing publication agreement and with generous help of our funder – the German Ministry of Education and Research – we are now looking forward to publishing with De Gruyter Open Access.

Contributions will include perspectives from nursing science, social sciences, philosophy, medical ethics, economics and law to present an – to our knowledge – first and comprehensive overview on different aspects of the use and implementation of socially assistive technologies from an ethical perspective. It will combine practically relevant insights and examples from current research and development with ethical analysis to uncover exemplary moral tipping points between promotion of participation or well-being and risks and damages to these values. Healthcare professionals involved in implementation of smart technologies as well as scholars from the field of humanities, nursing and medicine, interested in the discussions on ethics and technology in healthcare, will benefit from this new contribution.

We are very much looking forward to this publication and like to thank all of our contributors and supporters for their continous work.

Conference reports online

After a successful conference in February, some reports have been published. Anna Haupeltshofer from Unviersity of Osnabrück reported for “Ethik in der Medizin”. The report can be found here.

From an organizers’ perspective, Joschka Haltaufderheide and Johanna Hovemann commented their efforts to organize a fruitful conference in the newsletter of the European Association of Centres of Medical Ethics. The full newsletter can be found here.

A lecture in the Blue Square: 7.2.2019, 18.00 Uhr

Please find our Flyer and our Poster for the public lecture of Prof. Dr. Hartmut Remmers (Osnabrück). On Thursday, 7, February 2019. Prof Remmers will give his talk “technical utopia – political illusion?”

It is with great pleasure that we like to invite all interested parties to join Prof. Remmers talk. Please note that it will be held in german.

Here, you’ll find the Blue Square:

Tough Decisions…

It was a tough decision, however, we finally had to make it.

Claudia Hautumm /

Every abstract went through a careful review process in the last few days. Due to the high quality, the large quantity of received abstracts and the limited number of places for participants, the choice was difficult. In the end 15 young researchers were invited to contribute to the digitAs conference in February 2019.

We would like to thank all scholars who submitted an abstract for their great work.

Call for Abstracts ended: Peer Review to come

By 30. November we have ended our CFA for DigitAs-Conference. We would like to thank all applicants for their very interesting contributions. All abstracts will now undergo a peer-review-procedure. You do not need to do anything at the moment. We will get back to our applicants once we have finished our review.

Meanwhile please check our announcement for Prof. Hartmut Remmers public lecture at the Blue Square which will be held as part of the conference.

New Speaker confirmed: Prof. Hartmut Remmers (Osnabrück)

In future, an increasing number of elderly people will be reliant on assistance from the healthcare system.  Digital assistance technologies such as GPS trackers, digital collections of vital data via monitoring devices or social assistance systems such as the toy robot “Paro” are praised as innovations to solve resource problems. These technologies promise self-determination despite limited capacities. At the same time, however, they raise a variety of ethical questions: To what extent can digital support opportunities promote autonomy and participation? Is this promise a delusion? Is there a threat of a technicalisation of care without human contact?

We are pleased to announce a public lecture by Prof. Hartmut Remmers as part of our conference. Hartmut Remmers is Professor of Nursing Science at the University of Osnabrück and an expert in the field of digital technologies in the healthcare sector. In his work, he examines the ethical as well as political dimension of digital assistance technologies.

The lecture will be held 7. February 2019, 18.00, Blue Square Bochum.

More Information can be found soon on this blog.

Call for Abstracts: Deadline Extended

In response to a number of request we extend the deadline for our call for Abstracts. Our conference reflects on the use of social assistive technologies in healthcare. We welcome submissions to all of our four subthemes on ethical dimensions of social assistive technology in elderly care and medicine. The four topics are:

  • Ethical Foundations of social assistive technologies
  • Privacy and Simulation
  • Self-determination between personal autonomy and socially assistive devices
  • The element of care in social assistive technologies

The interdisciplinary conference addresses early stage researchers from different disciplines (medical ethics, medicine, law, philosophy, psychology, nursing science, political and social sciences, public health, history). Researchers from different countries (especially Germany, Switzerland and other European countries) are invited to present their research projects, to discuss them with leading experts and to contribute to the interdisciplinary discourse.

Please find more information here or download a pdf-file.


Call for Absracts out now!

In future, an increasing number of elderly people will be reliant on the healthcare system. The emerging resource crisis will affect the right to social participation, wellbeing and autonomy of older or impaired people. Social assistive technologies such as robot companions or smart screen assistants promise to preserve individual rights by supporting their users in their daily environment. They offer emotional as well as physical care and support. However, socially assistive technologies raise difficult ethical questions about their ability to deception. Social assistive devices often create illusions and simulations. They can fool their users into social-like empathic relationships or manipulate their environment and beliefs. Isn’t that morally questionable? Should we use such technologies in the care of elderly? And if we do that: How should we use it?  The Institute for Medical Ethics and History of Medicine hosts a conference on this issues:



International Conference for Young Scholars
4th – 8th February 2019 in Bochum, Germany
Aging between Participation and Simulation – Ethical Dimensions of Socially Assistive Technologies


Our Call for Abstract is out now! We invite international young scholars to present their research projects, to discuss them with leading experts in the field and to contribute to the interdisciplinary discourse on social assistive technologies and their ethical dimensions. Please find more information on this page or download our call here. We’re looking forward to your Abstract to arrive by 15 November 2018.

Universitätsstraße 150 | 44801 Bochum
Tel.: +49 234 32201
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Institute for Medical Ethics and History of Medicine

Markstraße 258a | 44799 Bochum
Tel.: +49 234 3223394

Letzte Änderung: 31.03.2020 | Ansprechpartner/in: Inhalt & Technik