ESPMH - The European Society For Philosophy Of Medicine And Healthcare
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About the ESPMH

The European Society For Philosophy Of Medicine And Healthcare

In August 1987, the European Society for Philosophy of Medicine and Health Care (ESPMH) was founded by an international company of philosophers, physicians, ethicists and other interested professionals in the field, in the face of the growing need for critical reflection on the role of medicine and health care in our present society. Health-related issues increasingly influence the functioning of social security and welfare systems and demands for health care strain the national budgets of most western countries. In western culture, resulting problems tend to be approached by searching exclusively for technocratic and econometric solutions. Philosophical analysis and ethical evaluations have long been neglected. Recently however, Faculties of Medicine, professional organizations and to a certain extent, the popular mind have shown an increase in awareness of these deficiencies. New teaching programmes and research projects on meta-medical subjects are now being introduced but often meet with strong opposition, if not straightforward obstruction. Thus it seems imperative that these efforts be strengthened through contacts and cooperation at a European level.


  • To stimulate and promote the development and methodology in the field of philosophy of medicine and health care;
  • To be a centre of contact for European scholars in this field;
  • To promote international contact between members.


A central focus of the ESPMH is its annual conference which is a wonderful opportunity for members to come together and debate challenges in ethics from a philosophical perspective.
Please find following a list of ESPMH conferences to date:
1987 Netherlands The Growth of Medical Knowledge
1988 Aarhus, Denmark Values in medical and health care decision making
1989 Czestochowa ,Poland European traditions in philosophy of medicine.
1990 Maastricht, the Netherlands Consensus formation in health care ethics.
1991 Oxford, England Philosophy and Mental Health
1992 Budapest, Hungary Social Policy and Health
1993 Oslo, Norway Economics, Technology and Health Care
1994 Paris, France. - first world conference in philosophy of medicine.
1995 Kos, Greece. Medicine and Culture organised in cooperation with the International Hippocratic Foundation of Kos.
1996 Vienna, Austria Philosophy of the Health Sciences
1997 Padova, Italy Philosophy of the Health Sciences
1998 Marburg, Germany Philosophy of and Philosophy in Health Care Education.
1999 Linköping, Sweden Epistemology and Medicine
2000 Kracow, Poland Humane healthcare - sciences, technologies, values
2001 Lisbon, Portugal Wisdom in Healthcare
2002 Qawra, Malta European Philosophy of Healthcare and Bioethics
2003 Vilnius, Lithuania European Integration – Philosophy and Ethics of Healthcare
2004 Reykjavik, Iceland Genetics and Health Care
2005 Barcelona, Spain Ethics and Philosophy of Emerging Medical Technologies
2006 Helsiniki, Finland Medicine, Philosophy and the Humanities
2007 Cardiff, UK Ethics, philosophy and public health
2008 Tartu, Estonia, European bioethics in a global context
2009 Tübingen, Germany, Sources and Perspectives of Bioethics
2010 Zagreb, Germany, Human Nature, Medicine and Health Care
2011 Zurich, Switzerland, Priorities in Medicine and Health Care
2012 Nazareth, Israel, Worst Case Bioethics
2013 Basel, Switserland, Innovation in Health Care and the Life Sciences
2014 Debrecen, Hungary, Bioethics and Biopolitics
2015 Ghent, Belgium, Medicalisation
2016 Zagreb, Croatia (relocated from Istanbul, Turkey) Ethics and Social Determinants of Health
2017 Belgrade, Serbia, Emmerging Technologies in Health Care
2018 Lisbon, Portugal, The Human Condition between Medicine, Arts and the Humanities
2019 Oslo, Norway (forthcoming)
2020 Warsaw, Poland (forthcoming)
2021 Riga, Latvia (forthcoming)

Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy. A European Journal

Since 1998, the ESPMH, in association with Springer has published the European journal, Medicine Health Care and Philosophy. The publication acts as a stimulus in the field of bioethics and philosophy of medicine and has an emphasis on European approaches. Subscription to the journal is included in the membership fee of ESPMH. The specific goals of the journal are: (1) to focus on European perspectives, (2) the interrelation of philosophy and medicine. The journal is published in quarterly and one issue will be thematic. The majority of articles in each issue are original contributions. There are several categories: a) scientific articles: longer expositions of problems, themes, topics or problem areas; b) practical viewpoint: shorter exposition of case discussion, clinical problem, current issues; c) research and educational programmes: special surveys and articles on programmes in ethics and philosophy education, or exposition of research program­mes and results from various centres and institutions. Furthermore, the journal informs members about important activities and events. Articles for publication can be submitted ONLINE.


Membership is open to anyone who wishes to participate in its activities or to be informed of developments in the field of philosophy of medicine and health care, by subscription to the Society's Charter. Membership dues have been established at €60 for individual members (and €250 for institutional members). Currently, the ESPMH has approximately 330 members from 47 countries. During the annual conferences, a General Assembly of the members will usually be held.

ESPMH Board - as of January 2019

Christoph Rehman-Sutter (Germany)
1/1/2017 - 31/12/2019
Péter Kakuk (Hungary)
1/1/2017 - 31/12/2019
Gerrit Kimsma (Netherlands)
1/1/2018 - 31/12/2020
Bert Gordijn (Netherlands)
1/1/2019 - 31/12/2021
Eugenijus Genefas (Lithuania) Member 1/1/2018 - 31/12/2020
Fuat Oduncu (Germany)
1/1/2019 - 31/12/2021
Ana Borovecki (Croatia)
1/1/2017 - 31/12/2019
Ignaas Devisch (Belgium)
1/1/2017 - 31/12/2019
Frida Simonstein (Israel)
1/1/2017 - 31/12/2019
If you have any questions regarding the Society, don't hesitate to contact the Secretariat at address: bert.gordijn at
Queries regarding membership fees and payments can be directed to the Treasurer of the society at address: Gerrit.Kimsma at
Copyright ©2008-2019, European Society for Philosophy of Medicine and Healthcare