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MD Mirjam Faissner

researcher staff

Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Thielallee 71
14197 Berlin

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Mirjam Faissner has joined the Institute for the History of Medicine and Ethics in Medicine at Charité in June 2023. She works on ethical questions in the context of structural injustice and health, combining qualitative-empirical methods with philosophical analyses. She focuses on the experiences and needs of people experiencing processes of structural marginalization, such as racism or discrimination based on gender and sexual diversity. Mirjam Faissner also explores issues of epistemic injustice in medicine. She applies her research to ethics in psychiatry and clinical ethics.

At the Charité, Mirjam Faissner is part of the group for clinical ethics consultation.

Current and past projects

INSIST - Intersectionality as a tool to avoid structural discrimination, an interdisciplinary and international summer school, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (2022-2023)

INTERSECT - Heteronormativism, Racism, Classism, Ableism and Serious Mental Illness. An intersectional analysis of unequal treatment and discrimination in mental health care, funded by a research grant of the Faculty of Medicine of the Ruhr-University Bochum (2022-2023).

Research focus

  • Structural injustice and health
  • Ethics in psychiatry
  • Social epistemology and medicine
  • Feminist Bioethics
  • Participatory Research

Selected publications

Faissner M, Günther M, Schneider-Reuter L, Romer G, Lempp T. Sexual and gender diversity in mental healthcare – ethical aspects. Ethics in Psychiatry 2nd Edition edited by Helmchen H, Gather J und Sartorius N. Springer 2024. (forthcoming)

Gather J, Hempeler H, Faissner M, Vollmann J. Clinical Ethics Support in Mental Healthcare. Ethics in Psychiatry 2nd Edition edited by Helmchen H, Gather J und Sartorius N. Springer 2024. (forthcoming)

Faissner M, Braun E. The ethics of coercion in mental healthcare: the role of structural racism. Journal of Medical Ethics Published Online First: 16 October 2023. doi:10.1136/jme-2023-108984

Faissner M, Werning A, Winkelkötter M, Foullois H, Löhr M, Gather J. Situational vulnerability of mental healthcare users – a qualitative analysis of ethical challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. BMC Med Ethics 24, 31 (2023).

Quadflieg NR, Yildiz D, Leidgens E, Träbert A, Faissner M. Werkstattbericht - Diskriminierungserfahrungen in der psychosozialen Gesundheitsversorgung. Eine kollaborative Studie mit partizipativen Elementen. Sozialpsychiatrische Informationen. Schwerpunktheft Partizipative Forschung 53(1), 34-37 (2023).

Faissner M, Juckel G, Gather J. Testimoniale Ungerechtigkeit gegenüber Menschen mit psychischer Erkrankung in der Gesundheitsversorgung. Eine konzeptionelle und ethische Analyse. Ethik Med 34, 145–160 (2022).

Faissner M, Hartmann K, Marcinski-Michel I, Müller R, Weßel M. Feministische Perspektiven in der deutschsprachigen Medizin- und Bioethik: eine Bestandsaufnahme und drei Thesen. Ethik Med 34, 669–686 (2022).

Braun E, Faissner M, Gather J. Ist eine Zwangsbehandlung bei Fremdgefährdung zum Wohl der gefährdenden Person? Eine ethische Analyse von Wohl und Wille im psychiatrischen Behandlungskontext. Forensische Psychiatrie, Psychologie, Kriminologie 16, 214–222 (2022).


Vita MD Mirjam Faissner

Mirjam Faissner studied medicine at the University of Hamburg with stays abroad in France, Australia and Sri Lanka. In parallel, she studied Philosophy and French Literature at the University of Hamburg before completing a Master's in Philosophy of Medicine and Psychiatry at King's College London (awarded the 2020 Simon Dally Book Award by the Department of Philosophy). Mirjam Faissner wrote her medical doctoral thesis at the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy of the University Medical Center Hamburg- with an empirical-conceptual project on depression Eppendorf (awarded the Hedwig Wallis Dissertation Prize for Psychosocial Medicine 2019).

From 2021 to 2023, Mirjam Faissner worked as a potdoctoral researcher at the Ruhr University Bochum, first at the Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Preventive Medicine (2021-2022), then at the Institute for Medical Ethics and History of Medicine. In Bochum, she led the INTERSECT project, which investigates and applies intersectionality to understand structural discrimination in mental health care. She also worked as a member of the SALUS research group funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. She was a member of the Global Young Faculty by Stiftung Mercator, where she conducted a research project on health care for sex workers. For her work on epistemic injustice in the context of depression screening apps, she received the 2022 Young Scholar Award from the German Academy of Ethics in Medicine. In October and November 2022, Mirjam Faissner was a Visiting Scholar at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University in Washington (D.C).

Functions / offices

Memberships / Cooperations

  • Member of the Society for Women in Philosophy Germany e.V.
  • Member of the International Association of Bioethics
  • Member of the German Academy of Ethics in Medicine, founding member and coordinator of the working group "Feminist Perspectives in Medical and Bioethics" and member of the working group "Ethics in Psychiatry"
  • Associate researcher, BMBF Research Group SALUS, Ruhr-University Bochum

Research profile