Urban Wiesing

Medical Ethics, University of Tübingen

Urban Wiesing has been professor of Ethics in Medicine at University of Tübingen since 1998, previously he was an assistant at the Institute for Theory and History at the University of Münster.

His research focuses on medicine and philosophy, new techniques in medicine, the relationship between medicine and time, as well as medical ethics and research ethics.

Prevention has a strong reputation. It is always considered good, but basically too little is done for it. This must be questioned, with special reference to the idea of ‘time’. Prevention differs from other medical interventions by its special relationship to time. It anticipates certain negatively evaluated conditions before they materialise. Prevention offers a person a specific opportunity to shape the formative temporality of his or her own life. By behaving in the present, it can prevent the occurrence of certain phenomena that do not yet exist. But what does prevention do to our lives? And what does it do with our experience of time? What happens to our lives when it is seen as a collection of risk factors that must be avoided in order to achieve the most successful quantitative extension of lifetime? These questions are becoming more relevant in the age of accelerated sciences and accelerated change in society and the living environment.

Urban Wiesing’s collaboration partners are Prof. Dr. Philipp Osten, Debuty Head of the Institute of History and Ethics in Medicine, and Prof. Dr. Martin Scherer of the Institute of General Medicine, both at University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE).

Urban Wiesing’s HIAS Fellowship is funded by the Joachim Herz Foundation.


Urban Wiesing


Joachim Herz Stiftung


Univ-Prof. Dr. med. Philipp Osten, Debuty head of the Institute of History and Ethics in Medicine at University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE)
Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. Martin Scherer, Director of the Institute of General Medcine at University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) and president of the German College of General Practitioners and Family Physicians

Publications in the Fellows’ Library

Heilswissenschaft. Über Verheißungen der modernen Medizin

S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt a.M. 2020

Selbstbestimmung im Sterben – Fürsorge zum Leben
Ein verfassungskonformer Gesetzesvorschlag zur Regelung des assistierten Suizids

Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2014, 2., erweiterte und überarbeitete Auflage 2020

Michael Steinmann/Peter Sýkora/Urban Wiesing
Altruism Reconsidered
Exploring New Approaches to Property in Human Tissue

Ashgate Publishing Company, Farnham, GB/Burlington/USA 2009

Jürgen Boomgaarden/Pekka Louhiala/Urban Wiesing
Issues in Medical Research Ethics
A workbook for practitioners and students

Berghahn Books, New York / Oxford 2003

T. McGleenan/U. Wiesing/F. Ewald
Genetics and Insurance

Bios Scientific Publishers Ltd / Oxford 1999

Lectures and Events (excerpt)

Assisted Suicide – Two Perspectives

HIAS meets#2: “Assisted suicide – and what comes next?”
guest in the event Series Freiraum of the Joachim Herz Foundation

This roundtable discussion at the Joachim Herz Foundation aims to facilitate an informal exchange between the various stakeholders. The invited experts represent, among others, the organized medical profession, hospitals and care institutions and a euthanasia organization. The aim is to discuss in a small setting the challenges and difficulties of the emerging regulation. What activities are planned? What should be supported, what should be tolerated, where are there “red lines”?

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