BIOMEDICAL LIFE PLANS FOR AGING: VALUES BETWEEN INDVIDUAL ETHICAL REFLECTION AND SOCIAL STANDARDIZATION

Prof. Dr. Silke Schicktanz (Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, Göttingen) - Prof. Dr. Frank Adloff  (Sociology, Erlangen-Nürnberg)

 

Researchers: Dr. Kai Brauer & Larissa Pfaller, M.A. (Erlangen), Dr. Mark Schweda (Göttingen) & Lisa Frebel, M.A. (Göttingen)

 

Duration: December 2010 - November 2013

Reference number 01GP1004

 

This interdisciplinary collaborative project aims to better understand the significance of progress in biomedicine for life planning regarding aging and death. Drawing on methodology from sociology and bioethics, we examine two exemplary practices: preventive health care/ anti-aging medicine and anticipating decisions at the end of life/ living wills. Within an interdisciplinary and closely cooperating research program, we integrate two research perspectives: The sociology sub-project explores and analyses life plans and life choices focusing on the opportunities anti-aging medicine and living wills open up, using qualitative research methods (narrative interviews, group discussions). The bioethics sub-project focuses on three central bioethical categories: the relationship between autonomy and vulnerability, taking responsibility for oneself and for others, and conceptions of the good life and death. Cooperating internationally with partners in the US allows us to include a comparative perspective. Finally, social trends and inter- and intra-individual conflicts within these different practices will be compared and analysed from both a sociological and bioethical point of view to better understand the interdependencies of life choices, aging, and biomedicine.