The post-antibiotic era: An existential threat for humanity

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Currently, mankind is facing the risk of running out of working antibiotics. Such a post-antibiotic era bears tremendous risks such as globally spread or even pandemic bacterial infections. These infections become thus untreatable and possibly lethal, particularly endan-gering the health (care) of future generations. This paper discusses this acute concern for humanity in three main steps. After first elaborating on the role of antibiotics and the occur-ring resistance in modern medicine, the focus will be on the current scope of the problem of antibiotics and the prognosis of its future escalation. Then the possibility of a way out and its obstacles will be addressed, before finally assessing the existential threat of a post-antibiotic era.

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Author Biographies

Dominik Koesling

Dominik Koesling, M. A., is a research assistant at the Department of Biomedical Ethics and the Center for Ocean and Society at Kiel University. He studied communication science and sociology as well as theory of society in Jena. Besides his current research on sustainability, especially in medicine, and ocean health, he works on his PhD project on suffering in Critical Theory.

Claudia Bozzaro

Prof. Dr. phil. Claudia Bozzaro is professor of Medical Ethics at Kiel University. She studied philosophy and art history in Freiburg and Paris. Her research focuses on ethical issues at the beginning and end of life, the analysis of normative concepts in medicine and ethical issues of sustainability in health care.