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MedUni Vienna appoints an expert commission for the investigation of the events after 1945

(Vienna, 13th February 2012) The Medical University Vienna is appointing an independent expert commission for the investigation of the events at the Medical Faculty after 1945, and in particular into the cases of “Malaria Treatment” at the Klinik Hoff. The question as to whether treatments were performed which had not corresponded to the prevailing scientific and technological knowledge at that time shall be a primary focus.

“The MedUni Vienna with this self-critical appraisal is actively making a step towards transparency and clarity over the period after the end of the Second World War. The examination of the past does not end at 1945. Particularly in times of intensive ethical debates in the field of medicine, we have a social and scientific duty to re-examine the events of the past 70 years with an open view and to resolve where possible past injustice, as well as to include this section of the history of medicine into the training provided to our medical students”, says Christiane Druml, Vice Rector at the MedUni Vienna for Clinical Affairs and Chairwoman of the Bioethics Committee.

The expert commission shall specifically look at the cases of mentally ill patients at the then Medical Faculty of the University of Vienna in the years after 1945. The focus is on finding out whether treatments were carried out which were not in accordance with the prevailing principles and recognised methods of medical science at that time and whether ethical guidelines for this patient group had been violated.

Vienna’s patient advocate, Konrad Brustbauer, and the psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Elisabeth Brainin, amongst others, are part of the interdisciplinary expert commission. The final composition of the expert commission shall be determined in the next few days.

Those people affected can contact a trained crisis team from the University Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the MedUni Vienna on telephone number 01/40 400-3568 (Mon. – Fri. from 09:00 – 15:00).