Paris, April 24th, 2014
Ladies and gentlemen, dear colleagues and friends
As the president of the Jury, I am delighted to open The Award Ceremony. Tonight, we will celebrate the second Hans Joachim Schwager Award for Clinical Ethics.
We remember the late Prof. Hans Joachim Schwager (see Laudation by George Agich, Member of Jury). I first met Hans on the occasion of a Symposium on Clinical Ethics I organized in 1998 with the help of the ‘Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur zu Mainz’ (Academy of Sciences and Literature) where we exchanged concepts and did live demonstrations on ethics consultation for the first time. Already by then, he had the reputation of being a pioneer of supporting Clinical Ethics Support.
The idea for the Hans Joachim Schwager arose in the context of the ICCEC 2005, Basel, when it became visible that the international conference series – his idea – developed successfully attracting a large audience and stimulating offers from centers all over the world to host the meetings. However, it turned out to be a challenge to find a sponsor for an Award in the new field of Clinical Ethics, especially if the award was to be an international one.
We are grateful and proud about the donation of the ‘Bodelschwinghschen Stiftungen Bethel’, Germany, which enables us to realize the award, and we thank the Executive Board and its chair, Pastor U. Pohl, as well as its Vice-Chair, Pastor B. Wolf, for their support. Moreover, we appreciate the help of Dr. Klaus Kobert, Vice-President of Jury, in obtaining the donation.
By the following Laudation, I will announce and honor the winner. But let me first articulate what it is that we intended to support when we stimulated this award in the context of the International Conference of Clinical Ethics & Consultation (ICCEC):
“Applications are welcome from individuals and groups with documented activities of implementation, development or research in clinical ethics. Application should include a written documentation of the activities in the field of clinical ethics and of challenges during the process. A description of how obstacles were mastered should complement the application.”
In this second round, we received excellent proposals from many countries again – in Asia, Australia, North America and Europe. The Jury undertook a structured review and reached consensus on the winner. Last year, the award went to the Children’s Bioethics Centre, The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.
Now, it is my pleasure to announce the WINNER of the second Hans J. Schwager Award for Clinical Ethics. The Hans J. Schwager Award for Clinical Ethics 2014 goes to the:
Frankfurter Netzwerk Ethik in der Altenpflege (Frankfurt Network for Ethics in Elderly Care), Frankfurt am Main, Germany (affiliated to the Senckenbergisches Institut für Geschichte und Ethik der Medizin), represented by:
Dr. Timo Sauer, MA, a trained nurse and philosopher, who is here, as well as by Dr. Gisela Bockenheimer-Lucius, physician-ethicist and by Renate Dansou, MA, sociologist and therapist.
We honor a young pioneer project, namely “Clinical Ethics in Elderly Care. Practical Experiences and Theoretical Considerations from seven years” which started in 2007. In the proposal we read:
– “The first Ethics committee in a Senior Living Home with long-term care – in Germany – that deals exclusively with the specific moral problems of this kind of facility, was founded in Germany in September 2006 in the Franziska Schervier Altenpflegeheim, Frankfurt am Main.
– (…) In addition to the benefit of bundling financial and staff resources and the value of mutual exchange, training of committee members and quality of ethics consulting are easier to warrant and it is possible to ensure ethics consultation for the facilities.”
We will all agree that elderly and long-term care used to be neglected in clinical ethics compared with the priorities placed on acute and intensive care. However, even in this field we are confronted with abundant ethical challenges, and in the light of demographic development, we have good reason to focus more strongly on issues related to dementia, frailty, loneliness and any other topics related to old age and dependency.
By honoring your group with the Hans Joachim Schwager Award, on behalf of the Jury, I invite you, Dr. Sauer, and your colleagues to celebrate this success with us – the ICCEC-audience. Maintain your enthusiasm and courage, and, please, continue supporting others on their way of building and developing Clinical Ethics Support.
Moreover, giving the award to the Frankfurt Network for Ethics in Elderly Care also means to strengthen all those who are dedicated to practicing clinical ethics in elderly and long-term care facilities and to encourage them to further develop their pioneer work for the elderly patients and their families.
Prof. Dr. Stella Reiter-Theil, Dipl.-Psych.
President of Jury, Co-Director of ICCEC
Presentation of the winning project [PDF]