Ferdinand R. Waldenberger

Ferdinand R. Waldenberger

“Medical progress at any cost. Does it mean sacrifice of values?”

Albert Einstein once stated, “by academic freedom I understand the right to search for the truth and to publish and teach what one holds to be true. This right also implies a duty; one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true. It is evident that any restriction of academic freedom serves to restrain the dissemination of knowledge, thereby impeding rational judgment and action.”

On one hand researchers are forced to be innovative and the “objective measurement” of scientific work is the number of publications. The process of publishing and of researching has no global ethical restrictions in the real world. And we have the feeling, that medical products and pharmaceutical industry basically own research.

On the other hand there seems to be a decline in ethics in the field of Medicine and in the society as a whole. Money and progress win over moral values.

Being ethical, following strict moral values doesn’t make you rich and sometimes doesn’t allow you to progress in the profession, too. So, its like you are forced to be become unethical in the present generation which is so competitive. There can be times where you are forced to be unethical if the top management of a medical institution requires and lives it.

Woody Allen said “There are two types of people in this world, good and bad. The good sleep better, but the bad seem to enjoy the waking hours much more.” In order to wake up and to hold against it, Eli Wiesel quoted, that “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”

I try to take you on a journey between the quest for success and progress in science and the embedment of ethical values in our daily work. It is a journey from egocentric dreams of success to humbleness in the line of duty of humanism and mankind.


Professor Ferdinand R. Waldenberger MD, PhD, studied Medicine at Medical University of Innsbruck (Austria), completed his PhD from KU Leuven (Belgium) in 1995. In 1988, he completed his internship/residency in Cardiac Surgery, and later was appointed as Professor of this specialty. Since 2010, he has been medical director at General Clinical Centre Klagenfurt, having performed more than 3000 cardiac operations.
Professor Ferdinand R Waldenberger was part of the team that responsible for the world’s first successful heart transplantation in a newborn child in Houston.  He also carried out Berlin’s first ever bypass surgery on a beating heart (1997).
He is author and co-author of several scientific books including the “Handbook for Heart Owners”.

ICMS 2018 is bringing you a lecture that should not be missed by one of the most highly respected Cardiothoracic Surgeons in the world!

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