Viele Bücher liegen übereinander

Medical Ethics

You are here:

Medical Ethics

Different projects are conducted in the area of Medical Ethics under the supervision of Dr. Sabine Müller.

Rita Riedmüller: Ethical issues of the mild encephalitis hypothesis of schizophrenia

In May 2014, I have started working on my PhD thesis under supervision of Assistant Professor Dr. Sabine Müller and Professor Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter. I completed my medicine study in November 2018, and in March 2019, I passed my disputation.
The main topic of my publication-based PhD thesis is ethical issues of biological psychiatry. First, I am a coauthor of a paper about ethical problems of treating anorexia nervosa with neurosurgery. Second, I have investigated ethical aspects of the Mild Encephalitis Hypothesis of schizophrenia.


Müller, S., & Riedmüller, R. (2017). How Will the Mild Encephalitis Hypothesis of Schizophrenia Influence Stigmatization? Frontiers in Psychiatry, 8, 67. 

Riedmüller, R., & Müller, S. (2017). Ethical Implications of the Mild Encephalitis Hypothesis of Schizophrenia. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 8, 38.

Müller, S., Riedmüller, R., Walter, H., & Christen, M. (2015). An Ethical Evaluation of Stereotactic Neurosurgery for Anorexia Nervosa. AJOB Neuroscience, 6(4), 50-65.

Müller, S., Riedmüller, R., & van Oosterhout, A. (2015). Rivaling paradigms in psychiatric neurosurgery: adjustability versus quick fix versus minimal-invasiveness. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, 9, 27.

Quynh Bach: Ethical challenges of epilepsy surgery in children

My interests in the fields of medicine and philosophy - developed during my time studying at the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Humboldt University of Berlin, as well as study visits at the Hanoi Medical University, Université Paris Descartes, University College London and the University of Oxford - led me to the intersection of the two, i.e. medical ethics. I first encountered the field of neuroethics during participation in PD Dr. Sabine Müller’s seminar on 'Neuroethics – Ethical questions of the neurosciences‘. Having obtained several scholarships, I am undertaking research under Sabine Müller’s supervision on 'Ethical challenges of epilepsy surgery in children' in the field of neuroethics. In my dissertation, I will survey children with epilepsy and their parents about their decision-making process in terms of the neurosurgical procedure as well as its psychosocial consequences. Subsequently, I will analyse the results of the survey by taking the empirical literature on epilepsy surgery into account and by discussing them medical-ethically on the basis of Beauchamp’s and Childress’ principles of biomedical ethics as well as of more recent approaches of child ethics.

Anika Spreen: Ethical evaluation of clinical applications of optogenetics

After I completed the master program in physics at the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich in 2016, I did an internship at the Research Group „Neurophilosophy, Medical Ethics and Neuroethics“ at the Division of Mind and Brain Research. In April 2016, I started working on my doctoral thesis: “Ethical Aspects of Optogenetics“ under the supervision of Assistant Professor Dr. Sabine Müller and Professor Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter. In my thesis, I will investigate ethical issues of potential optogenetic applications for clinical treatments of different neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Henning Wißmann: Ethical investigation of the reporting of suspected cases of child abuse or child neglect by pediatricians in Berlin

Since April 2014 I am a medical student at CharitéUniversitätsmedizin Berlin. While writing a term paper, I became acquainted with the Research Group „Neurophilosophy, Medical Ethics and Neuroethics“ at the Division of Mind and Brain Research.
Under the supervision of PD Dr. Sabine Müller (Department for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy CCM) and Dr. Mike Peters (Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences ‒ Research Group „Medical malpractice/Patient safety“), I have been working on my interdisciplinary doctoral thesis since November 2017.
I will investigate the reporting behaviour and in particular the motivations in decision making of Berlin-based primary-care paediatricians and paediatric psychiatrists in the event of physical or psychological child abuse or neglect.
I will discuss the results of the study with regard to the current legal situation in Germany under an ethical perspective. Particularly, I will refer to more recent ethical approaches, which explicitly consider children's rights.


PD Dr. Sabine Müller

Assistant professor, Medical Ethicist