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!


Master Thesis by Elisa Elhadj

Since the beginning of September, Elisa Elhadj, a master student in European Global Studies, has the exciting opportunity to write her master thesis in a collaboration between the IBMB and the Institute for European Global Studies (EIB)…

New Article: "Risk, Responsibility, Rudeness, and Rules: The Loneliness of the Social Distance Warrior" by

We have a responsibility to obey COVID-19 rules, in order to minimize risk. Yet it is still seen as rude to challenge people who do not respect those rules, when in fact the opposite is true; it is rude to increase risk to others. In this…

Several new Articles published by PD Dr. Stuart Roger Mc Lennan

A variety of recently published articles with contributions from PD Dr. Stuart Roger Mc Lennan, lecturer at the IBMB, can be find below:

PhD Defense of Helene Seaward on July 7th, 2021

Topic: Challenges in the mental health care of older incarcerated persons

New article: "Intentional machines: A defence of trust in medical artificial intelligence", by Georg Starke, Rik van den Brule, Bernice Simone Elger, and Pim Haselager

Trust constitutes a fundamental strategy to deal with risks and uncertainty in complex societies. In line with the vast literature stressing the importance of trust in doctor–patient relationships, trust is therefore regularly suggested as…

Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the IBMB

To celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Institute for Biomedical Ethics of the University of Basel, we are organizing a series of online events and seminars that will promote the Institute's activities, research and outreach throughout…

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…

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

Tel: +41 61 207 17 86