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The Wilhelm Löhe Institute for Ethics of the health and social economy (WLE)


We are:

An initiative of Wilhelm Löhe University Fürth (WLH)

The Nuremberg Metropolitan Region - Erlangen - Fürth is internationally recognized for its strong economic, scientific and research focus in the health sector. WLH is a private college in the Wilhelm Lohe tradition founded by the Diakonie Neuendettelsau in the autumn of 2012 , which educates leaders for the health and social market. With expertise and value-based ethos of responsibility, members and alumni of WLH will contribute to shaping the social systems of the future with innovative ideas. The WLH feels committed to the legacy of Ludwig Erhard, who, as a great son of the city Fürth, established the regulatory idea of the social market economy. As of February 6, 2015, the university management of WLH established the WLE as an institute of the WLH.


We address:

Ethical issues of health and social economy

The growing health and social market is highly complex and requires interdisciplinary expertise. Economic, technical or health scientific expertise is achieved through consistent value orientation. As fundamental ethical challenges we identify, among others:

  • the understanding of human life, of quality of life, health and death with consequences for legal and moral claims and obligations,
  • concrete guidance on dilemmas between protection of life, quality of life and appropriate medication,
  • financing and equitable allocation of care and case services as well as distribution decisions,
  • appropriate care in the face of demographic shifts,
  • research and research ethics in health technology and pharmaceutical industries,
  • guiding ethos and corporate culture of carriers and providers or
  • the sustainability of value-linked providers in the health and social market in a pluralistic society.

Suggested solutions interpret human dignity, codified in article 1 of the German Federal Constitution, and its consequences for our social structure theoretically as well as practically. A reflected values base helps to justifiably question politically given answers and to effectively replace the normative power of the de facto with responsible dignity. In this responsibility. and also with respect to the welfare state codified in Art. 20 and Art. 28 of the German Federal Constitution, the ethics of the health and social market is becoming the advocate of Article 1 of the German Federal Constitution. The ethics of the health and social market is thus a barometer for the understanding of values in our society.



We represent:

An Inviting Christian Profile

Our ecumenical basis is the Christian view of man with its normative implications, as testified in the bible, in the tradition of Wilhelm Löhe and the whole range of diaconal and charitable commitments of the churches. In this way, the inviolability of dignity is to be successfully operationalised for the process of political expression on the one hand, for practical guidance in hospitals, nursing and social services, health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, social organizations, inter alia, on the other hand. Christianity is to be understood as a dialogical invitation to other ethics which honestly face up to the major socio-ethical challenges based on their rationale of human dignity. The health and social economy constitute our prime focus, as do their social contexts.

The bye-laws of the institute can be found here (in German only).