Our latest papers

The VEMS regularly publishes papers on current discourses in the healthcare sector. Below are our current papers. You are cordially invited to get involved with us or to organise symposia with us on these topics.

When words kill – How “toxic” narratives affect medicine

Is it correct to talk about medical narratives? A cancer is a cancer, whether you have it or not, true or false, based on medical-clinical evidence. This would be the case if we lived in an ideal world. But illnesses are always metaphors, and our relationship to medicine and our bodies is also characterised by notions, ideas and narratives that do not always correlate with the facts.

Erstellungsdatum: Juni 2021, download paper

From Hippocrates to medical bioethics – an analysis of the relationship between medicine, ethics and economics

The coronavirus pandemic has shown the central role that numbers play in health-related decisions. The virtuosity that some calculating minds can display in order to bend the results to suit their preferences has also been demonstrated. The VEMS has been observing this for 15 years now, analysing, uncovering errors, seeking dialogue with the authors and, if necessary, informing the public. In healthcare, numbers can make the difference between treatment and non-treatment, between health and illness, life and death. Mathematics is therefore also a task for ethics.

Creation date: April 2021, download paper

How can the majority be convinced of the benefits of coronavirus vaccinations?

The reservations are currently too great for it to seem realistic to achieve herd immunity with the coronavirus vaccinations. However, this is essential if we are to gradually return to as normal a life as possible over the next year. In this paper, the VEMS examines possible obstacles that could stand in the way of effective persuasion of the population.

Creation date: December 2020, download paper

Covid-19 and communication

The coronavirus pandemic has fuelled speculation and conspiracy theories. The fact that questions of knowledge about medicine are being turned into questions of faith is nothing new, however, but rather a trend that we at the VEMS have been noticing for some time. Against this background, the problematic corona communication can be better understood.

Creation date: June 2020, download paper

Working together to contain the coronavirus pandemic – evaluating the opportunities and risks of contact tracing apps

Some misunderstandings about contact tracing apps have probably arisen in the debates because the various aspects are mixed up. We have worked out the components in a small evaluation in order to make the problems as visible as possible.

Creation date: May 2020, download paper

Covid19 and utilitarianism – an attempt to clarify medical ethics

The coronavirus pandemic has thrown up serious questions and difficult medical and economic decisions. We have placed the positions in an ethical and medical-ethical context and subjected projections to critical scrutiny.

Creation date: April 2020, download paper

Together towards more organs for transplantation – statement on the objection solution in Switzerland

The Federal Council would like to push through the new regulation, which the popular initiative “Promote organ donation – save lives” wants to achieve, at parliamentary level. What is the VEMS’ position on this procedure and on the objection solution in general?

Creation date: June 2019, download paper

Quality of assessment and treatment culture – Review of efficiency procedures

After years of wrangling, Germany has rejected the average cost comparison. Switzerland is adhering to this and has developed a new method. Have we found the egg of Columbus? The VEMS subjects the method and procedure to a critical review.

Creation date: June 2019, download paper

Position paper on Smarter Medicine and Choosing Wisely

The Choosing Wisely initiative wants to do something about the problem of unnecessary and inadequate treatments. Our position paper analyses the initiative from an ethical, sociological, communication science, economic and legal perspective, based on VEMS expert opinions from proven specialists.

Creation date: December 2018, download paper