Personal information

Bert  Molewijk

Bert (Albert Christiaan) Molewijk (1966) is Associate Professor Clinical Ethics at the Department of Medical Humanities of the VU Medical Center in Amsterdam. He works as senior researcher, program director and member of the Executive Board. He also works 50% as Associate Professor of clinical ethics at the Center for Medical Ethics (SME) at the University of Oslo (UIO) in Norway.



He studied Mental Health Care Nursing (RN, 1985-1988) and Health Care Ethics (MA, 1991-1995). His MA thesis (1995), at the Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG), was on the goals of medicine. Afterwards he received funding from KNMG and the Dutch Ministry of Welfare, Health and Sports for a visiting scholarship at the Hastings Center in New York USA on grassrootsbioethics. His PhD thesis ('Risky Business. Individualised Evidence-Based Decision Support and the Ideal of Patient Autonomy. An Integrated Empirical Ethics Study', 2006) consisted of a multidisciplinary study on the implicit normativity of the constructing, presentation and communication of scientific facts, and was supported by the Programme Ethics and Policies of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). His postdoc (2000-2003, also supported by NWO) dealt with the implicit normativity of technological artefacts. Since 2003, he is working in the field of clinical ethics (support) and empirical ethics.


Current activities

Since September 2003 he is working as researcher, trainer and manager on Clinical Moral Deliberation projects (first at Maastricht University and since March 2009 at VUmc). As an clinical ethicist, he is a member of Health Ethics Committees in mentally handicapped care and a general hospital. He co-founded the Dutch network for Clinical Moral Deliberation (2005): ‘Platform Moreel Beraad’ (hosted by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport; VWS). He is co-founder and coordinator of the European Clinical Ethics Network ECEN (since 2005: hosted at the VUmc). He is a member of the Editorial Committee of the journal Clinical Ethics and a member of the advisory board of the Dutch National Center for Ethics and Health Care (CEG). He co-edited thematic issues on empirical ethics (Bioethics), clinical ethics consultation (Bioethics), moral deliberation (Tijdschrift voor Gezondheid en Ethiek). Currently (2014/2015) he is editing a thematic issue on clinical ethics support in psychiatry (Clinical Ethics) and evaluation of clinical ethics support (Bioethics). He is co-editor of the Dutch handbook on moral case deliberation (In gesprek blijven over goede zorg, Boom: Amsterdam, 2014). He published several papers on theory, practice and training of moral deliberation in particular and clinical ethics and empirical ethics in general (see 'publications').


His main interests are in the field of clinical ethics and empirical ethics, such as: theory, practice and methods of empirical ethics research; theory, practice, implementation, training and research of clinical ethics support services, in particular moral case deliberation; moral epistemology; training and consulting health care professionals, managers and board of directors; moral competence; moral expertise.