ESPMH - The European Society For Philosophy Of Medicine And Healthcare
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Current Board Members

Christoph Rehmann-Sutter (Germany), President

Christoph Rehmann-Sutter is Professor of Theory and Ethics in the Biosciences at the Institute for History of Medicine and Science Studies of the University of Lübeck, Germany. Originally from Switzerland, he holds a diploma degree in molecular biology from the Biozentrum of the University of Basel (1984) and then studied philosophy and sociology at the Universities of Basel and Freiburg i. Brsg. Doctoral degree in philosophy 1995 from the Technical University of Darmstadt with a book on what biology 'does' (in practical and ethical terms) when it describes life. Habilitation in philosophy at the University of Basel 2000. Between 1996 and 2008 he was head of the Unit for Ethics in the Biosciences at the University of Basel and conducted various research projects on bioethical issues, including the risks of biotechnologies, the philosophy of genomics, ethics of gene therapies, genetic testing, stem cell research and end-of-life issues. From 2001 to 2009 he was President of the Swiss National Advisory Commission on Biomedical Ethics, advising the Swiss parliament and government.

Péter Kakuk (Hungary), President-elect

Péter Kakuk, MA, PhD is teaching medical ethics and bioethics as an assistant professor at the Department of Behavioral Sciences, Faculty of Public Health, University of Debrecen, Hungary. He studied philosophy at the University of Debrecen and Health Care Ethics and Law at the University of Manchester. He has a PhD in Health Sciences. He is member of the Hungarian Medical Research Council, and associate member of the European Network of Research Ethics Committees. He is the Chair of the Hungarian Working Group for the Cambridge Consortium on Bioethics Education and book review editor for Medicine Health Care and Philosophy. His primary research interests are related to continental philosophy, biopolitics and bioethics, ethics of genetics, research ethics and scientific integrity. 

Gerrit Kimsma (Netherlands), Treasurer

Gerrit K. Kimsma has been university associate in medicine and philosophy, practicing family medicine since 1976 and teaching medical ethics and philosophy to medical students and medical ethics to Post Graduate Training for Family Medicine at the Vrije Universiteit at Amsterdam since 1970. Publications since 1975 in numbers of about 100 articles in journals, books and papers, about 60 presentations in Europe (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, France), USA and Australia. Book publications since 1987, starting with 'Medicine between Dream and Drama',(with HAMJ ten Have), last major book publication with Thomasma, Kushner and Ciesielski called 'Asking to Die. Inside the Dutch Euthanasia Debate.' , Kluwer Academic Publications, Dordrecht/London/Boston, 1998, with ethical and legal discussions, interviews with families where euthanasia took place, and interviews with physicians who describe their experiences).

Bert Gordijn (Ireland), Secretary

Bert Gordijn is Professor and Director of the Institute of Ethics at Dublin City University in Ireland. He has studied Philosophy and History in Utrecht, Strasbourg and Freiburg in Breisgau. In 1995 he was awarded a doctorate in Philosophy from the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, followed by a doctorate in Bioethics from the Radboud University Nijmegen in 2003. Bert has been a Visiting Professor at Lancaster University (UK), Georgetown University (USA), the National University of Singapore and the Fondation Brocher (Switzerland). He has served on Advisory Panels and Expert Committees of the European Chemical Industry Council, the European Patent Organisation, the Irish Department of Health as well as UNESCO. Bert is Editor-in-Chief of two book series:"The International Library of Ethics, Law and Technology" and "Advances in Global Bioethics" as well as a peer reviewed journal: "Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy", all published by Springer. He is Secretary of the European Society for Philosophy of Medicine and Healthcare as well as President-Elect of the International Association of Education in Ethics.

Ana Borovecki (Croatia), member

Ana Borovecki MD, PhD, was born in Zagreb in1973 where she has finished the Classical Gymnasium. In 1998 she graduated medicine from the School of Medicine, University of Zagreb. In 2000 she got bachelor degree in philosophy and comparative literature from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb. In 2004 she got European Master of Bioethics degree from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. In 2007 she got PhD degree from Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. She is specialist of clinical pharmacology and toxicology and Master of Public Health. She is Deputy Director to Program Director of PhD Program in Biomedicine and Health Sciences at School of Medicine, University of Zagreb. She works at Andrija Štampar, School of Public Health, School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, as Assistant Professor. Her field of research is biomedical ethics.

Ignaas Devisch (Belgium), member

Ignaas Devisch (1970) PhD is professor in Ethics, Philosophy and Medical Philosophy. He holds a position at Ghent University, department of Primary Care and Family Medicine, and is affiliated with BIG (Bioethics Institute Ghent) and Artevelde University College, Belgium and was researcher for five years at the Radboud University Nijmegen. He publishes in the fields of medical philosophy, philosophy and ethics. He organised the ESPMH conference in 2015 in Ghent. He is chairman of a Belgian organisation (de Maakbare Mens) which reflects ethically and philosophically upon biomedical evolutions. As a philosopher, he works at the faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine. Since 2003, he teaches philosophy of medicine, ethics and bioethics. Research areas: philosophy of medicine (patient autonomy; responsibility; lifestyle; obesity; justice); ethics; His research focuses mainly on Autonomy, lifestyle and responsibility in healthcare. Some recent publications: Articles (2012) Devisch, Ignaas, Nudging and obesity: how to get rid of paternalism? Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, DOI 10.1007/s10728-011-0175-y, (2012) Devisch, Ignaas, The tribunal of modern life: The case of UZ Brussels in the light of Odo Marquard’s discussion of autonomy and theodicy. The Journal of Evaluation of Clinical Practice (accepted on April, 29, 2012). (2014) Devisch, Ignaas en Vanheule Stijn, Singularity and medicine: is there a place for heteronomy in medical ethics? DOI: 10.1111/jep.12110. (2015) Devisch, Ignaas and Vanheule Stijn, Foucault at the bedside: a critical analysis of empowering a healthy lifestyle. JECP; doi: 10.111/jep.12329. Books: (2012) Devisch, Ignaas et al. Retreating religion. Fordham University Press, New York. (2012) Devisch, Ignaas, Jean-Luc Nancy and the question of community (Bloomsbury Press). (2013) Devisch, Ignaas et al, (Sick of Health) Ziek van gezondheid. Voor elk probleem een pil? De Bezige Bij, Antwerpen. (2016) Devisch, Ignaas, Rusteloosheid (Restlessness) (De Bezige Bij, Amsterdam). Full list of publications. On a regular basis, he intervenes in public debates on issues regarding philosophy of medicine or social philosophy. 

Eugenijus Gefenas (Lithuania), member

Dr. Eugenijus Gefenas is professor and director of the Department of Medical History and Ethics at the Medical Faculty of Vilnius University. He is also director of the Lithuanian Bioethics Committee. Eugenijus Gefenas graduated from the Medical Faculty of Vilnius University in 1983 and obtained his Ph.D in medical ethics from the Institute of Philosophy, Sociology and Law in 1993. Eugenijus Gefenas teaches bioethics at the Medical Faculty of Vilnius University and is a co-director of the NIH Fogarty International Center funded training program “Advanced Certificate in Research Ethics in Central and Eastern Europe”. He is a member of the Council of Europe Committee on Bioethics and was chairing this Committee in 2011-2012. In 2014 he was appointed to represent Lithuania at the Bureau of the Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee (IGBC) of UNESCO and was elected as the president of this Committee in 2015. In 2017, Eugenijus Gefenas became a member of the new European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies appointed by the President of the European Commission. The areas of his recent professional interest include conceptual and normative issues related to human research and health care in the transition societies. The list of his publications is available at:

Fuat Oduncu (Germany), member

Prof. Dr. med. Dr. phil. Fuat S. Oduncu, MA, MBA, European Master in Bioethics, was born in Midyat (Turkey) in 1970. He studied medicine (Dr. med., University of Munich), Philosophy (M.A., Jesuite Private University; Dr. phil., University of Munich), Bioethics (European Master in Bioethics at the Universities of Nijmegen, Leuven, Madrid, Padova), and Health Care Business Administration at the Munich Business School in Cooperation with the Boston University School of Management (MBA). In 2005 Prof. Oduncu passed his Ph.D. (Habilitation) in Internal Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Munich, and in 2013 he was appointed Professor of Medicine. Besides, Prof. Oduncu passed several medical qualifications: internal medicine, hematology and oncology, palliative medicine, hemostaseology, and medical quality management. Since 2007 he is heading the division of Hematology and Oncology, Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik IV, University of Munich. Moreover, Prof. Oduncu teaches medicine and medical ethics at several universities, and he is member of several national and international scientific societies. He published more than 200 scientific medical and ethical contributions on cancer, organ transplantation, brain death, reproductive medicine, embryo research, palliative care, euthanasia, and priority-setting in health care. Prof. Oduncu has been awarded several scientific prizes, among others with the prestigious Vincenz-Czerny-Prize for Oncology and the m4-Award for Personalized Medicine by the joint Excellence Cluster of the Bavarian Ministry of Economics and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. In 2016, Prof. Oduncu has been elected President of the Erich-Frank-Society (EFG, for the promotion of the German-Turkish relationship between the Medical Universities of Munich and Istanbul), and in 2017 he has been elected President of the World Medical Association of Suryoye (WMAS, for the medical promotion of the Aramaeic and Assyriac people).

Frida Simonstein (Israel), member

Frida Simonstein is Senior Lecturer of Bioethiccs at Yezreel Valley College, Nazareth (Israel). She holds an MSMedSci in Human Genetics from the Sackler Medical School at Tel Aviv University in Israel (1994) and was awarded a PHD in Health Care Ethics and Law from the Centre of Social Ethics and Policy at the University of Manchester, UK. Frida has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany, The Hastings Centers in the USA, the Institute for Medicine Law and Bioethics at Liverpool University, UK, and the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. She has served on the Stirring Panel on the Ethics of Human Genetics at the International Center for Health Law and Ethics of Haifa University in Israel, and is now appointed candidate to the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies. She has published a book entitled ‘The Ethics of Self-Evolution’ (Yozmot, 2004); and edited a collaborative book entitled ‘Reprogenetics and the Future of Gender (Springer, 2009). She has published several dozens of papers in the areas of human genetics, reproduction and novel technologies, some of which have recently been published in the journal Fertility & Sterility and the Journal of Genetic Counseling.


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