Welcome to the Institute for Biomedical Ethics

The Institute for Biomedical Ethics at the University of Basel (IBMB) is a vibrant centre for research on and teaching about ethical issues in medicine and the biosciences. The Institute was founded in 2011 and is affiliated with both the Science and Medical Faculties at the University of Basel – a unique situation for an ethics institute in Switzerland.

The IBMB has over a dozen PhD students and a team of senior researchers and post-docs working on a wide variety of projects in biomedical ethics. The IBMB’s researchers are committed to an interdisciplinary endeavour aimed at finding ethical solutions to dilemmas raised by both new and traditional practices in biomedical ethics, including cutting-edge technologies, organ donation, palliative care, and research in developing countries, to name only a few. Our research combines empirical fieldwork, including interviews with stakeholders and members of the public, and normative, theoretical analysis. IBMB researchers have won several grants from the SNF, SAMW and other major funders and frequently publish in major bioethics, medical and science journals.

IBMB members are also highly involved in teaching, providing ethics courses for undergraduate students and postgraduate scientists and doctors. A variety of courses are open to the public, including the twice-yearly “Contemporary Issues in Bioethics” lecture series that integrates a lively dialogue with visiting speakers.

If you are interested in collaborating with us, are looking for a PhD student or post-doc job, need ethical input on your own project, or would like us to provide ethics related courses/workshops for your students or research team, please get in touch with us!

16th World Congress of Bioethics

WCB banner

The Institute for Biomedical Ethics at the University of Basel welcomes you to the 16th World Congress of Bioethics (WCB). The congress will take place as a hybrid congress (in-person or virtual presence) from 20th to the 22nd of July 2022 in Basel. Click here to visit the congress website.


Prof. Dr. Bernice Elger receives Most Instructive Lecturer Award (3d place)

With this certificate, the students of the fifth year course of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Basel thank the professor for her excellent lectures and her commitment

PhD Defense Lester Geneviève on May 12, 2021

Topic: Precision Health Approaches: Ethical considerations for health data processing

New article: 'It’s not something you can take in your hands'. Swiss experts’ perspectives on health data ownership: an interview-based study by Andrea Martani, Lester Darryl Geneviève, Berenice Elger and Tenzin Wangmo

The evolution of healthcare and biomedical research into data-rich fields has raised several questions concerning data ownership. In this paper, the authors aimed to analyse the perspectives of Swiss experts on the topic of health data…

New contribution: Clinical Priority Setting and Decision-Making in Sweden: A Cross-sectional Survey Among Physicians by Catharina Drees, Barbro Krevers, Niklas Ekerstad, Annette Rogge, Christoph Borzikowsky, Stuart Mc Lennan, Alena M. Buyx

Priority setting in healthcare that aims to achieve a fair and efficient allocation of limited resources is a worldwide challenge. Sweden has developed a sophisticated approach. Still, there is a need for a more detailed insight on how…

New article: "Triaging ethical issues in the coronavirus pandemic: how to prioritize bioethics research during public health emergencies" by Dr. David Shaw

Much of the ethical discourse concerning the coronavirus pandemic has focused on the allocation of scarce resources, be it potentially beneficial new treatments, ventilators, intensive care beds, or oxygen. Somewhat ironically, the more…

PhD Opportunities at IBMB 2021

We are currently looking for three dynamic and independent graduate students (Master’s degree) or medical doctors who are interested in carrying out their PhD work in biomedical ethics or bioethics.

Maddalena Favaretto's PhD Defense

The Institute is proud to announce the public defense of one of its PhD Candidates, Ms. Maddalena Favaretto. She will defend her dissertation “Big data, bigger challenges. On the ethical impact of Big Data on scholarly research practices". …

Interview with Dr. David Shaw: "Everyone has a responsibility to protect others from the virus"

In his interview with Bajour, Dr. David Shaw discusses responsibility with regards to the Covid vaccine.

New manuscript by Andrea Martani, Marta Tomasi, and Carlo Casonato: RE: “I think it’s been met with a shrug:” Oncologists’ views toward and experiences with Right-to-Try

At first sight, ‘Right-to-Try’ legislation seems to promise unconstrained access to experimental drugs. But is this really the case? For a reflection on the distance between ‘law-in-books’ and ‘law-in-action’ check this brief contribution…

Ten simple rules to fight fake news during the Coronavirus pandemic

"Coronavirus and our duty to fight fake news: 10 simple rules", a new contribution to the Journal of Medical Ethics Blog by Dr. David Shaw.
Bernoullistrasse 20

Contact and Address of the
Institute for Biomedical Ethics
Bernoullistrasse 28 - 2nd Floor
4056 Basel

Tel: +41 61 207 17 86