Lehrstuhl für Bürgerliches Recht, Zivilprozessrecht, Medizinrecht und Rechtsvergleichung

Statement of the German Ethics Council "Hilfe durch Zwang?

On 1 November 2018, the German Ethics Council adopted its statement "Hilfe durch Zwang? Professionelle Sorgebeziehungen im Spannungsfeld von Wohl und Selbstbestimmung" (Professional care relationships in the field of tension between welfare and self-determination). This statement was prepared by a working group headed by Prof. Dr. Dr. Sigrid Graumann and Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Volker Lipp.

Coercive measures based on the charity and care of the person concerned ("charitable coercion") are widespread in the social and health sectors. These include measures involving deprivation of liberty such as accommodation in a closed ward, fixation, medical treatment or care against the will of the affected person. Such measures constitute a serious encroachment on the fundamental rights of the person concerned, which must be justified both ethically and legally.

In the view of the Ethics Board, the application of such a measure can only be a last resort. Every opportunity must be taken, conditions created and precautions taken to avoid such coercive measures. In a concrete situation, a measure of charitable coercion may only be considered if the person concerned can no longer make an independent decision. For the application of coercion always results in a foreign determination of the person being coerced. As a serious encroachment on fundamental rights, the existence of the prerequisites for the application of "charitable coercion" must be regularly checked, sufficient documentation and evaluation must be carried out and specially trained personnel must be deployed.

The press release of the German Ethics Council and the statement can be found here:

press release


Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Volker Lipp elected to the Board of the German Ethics Council

On 17 May 2018, Volker Lipp was elected Deputy Chairman of the German Ethics Council. He succeeds Andreas Kruse, who has made his office as Deputy Chairman available after two years of active board activity. Peter Dabrock, Chairman of the German Ethics Council, thanked Andreas Kruse for his commitment and welcomed Volker Lipp to the Board.

The German Ethics Council consists of 26 members who represent scientific, medical, theological, philosophical, ethical, social, economic and legal interests in a special way. Its members include scientists from the aforementioned scientific fields; it also includes recognized persons who are particularly familiar with ethical issues in the life sciences.

To the press release of the German Ethics Council.

For further information, please visit the homepage of the German Ethics Council.