The research project „Death and Dead Bodies - Transmortality“

On closing the project „Death and Dead Bodies. The changed handling of death in the present society“, sponsored by the Volkswagen Foundation within the framework of the program “Key Issues in the Humanities”, the subsequent project „Transmortality“ has fortunately been approved and has just started. Due to the great support of the Volkswagen Foundation it is possible to continue the work on project “Death and Dead Bodies” within a second phase of the project.

The group of scientist, consisting of the subprojects of Prof. Hubert Knoblauch TU Berlin, Prof. Dominik Gross, RWTH Aachen, Prof. Andrea M. Esser, Philipps-University Marburg, Prof. Brigitte Tag, University of Zurich, is interested in how the handling of death in the present society has changed. The second project phase especially focusses on transmortal phenomena, where the clear classification of „dead“ an „alive“ is questionable. Today it is for example possible to engraft organs from deceased persons to living bodies due to modern medical technology. The scientists explore interdisciplinarily how institutional actors and the public meet new forms of the handling of human bodies.

The chair of Prof. Tag continues the work on the project IV (law). The main focus of the project „transmortality“ will be on the methodical research of legal implications concerning post mortal organ donation and post mortal tissue donation. Therefore concepts which form the basis of organ and tissue donation/preparation, considering also the conflicted legally protected interests and other interests will be an important aspect of the research. The concretion of the autonomy term within the scope of the organ donation and post mortal tissue donation is of greater importance. Furthermore, the limits of autonomy and the relevance of other ethical and legal principles should be illustrated. The legal comparison research includes German law, the legal framework of further countries (Switzerland, Austria, etc.) and the international context.