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Els van Wijngaarden

Els van Wijngaarden

universitair hoofddocent, onderzoeker
associate professor, researcher


wetenschappelijk personeel, Leerstoel Zorgethiek


Els van Wijngaarden (1976) works as an associate professor and researcher at the University of Humanistic Studies. In November 2016, Van Wijngaarden finished her PhD on ‘Older people who consider their lives to be completed and no longer worth living’, funded by the NWO (projectnr. 023.001.035). Her dissertation was awarded the Research Prize 2017 of the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation. She has a master's degree in religious studies (cum laude), with a specialization in existential counseling. Currently, she is leading a one-year inquiry into completed life, commissioned by the Dutch government and funded by a ZonMw-grant (projectnr. 643001001).

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Van Wijngaarden’s research concerns the following topics: old age, meaning in old age, experiences of completed life, death and dying, death wishes and the self-chosen death (euthanasia and ‘self-euthanasia’). In her work, she makes the connection between various scientific disciplines and fields of research, such as care ethics, phenomenology, (interpretative) gerontology and death studies. She combines conceptual and empirical research which are used in a dialectical relation to each other: conceptual and theoretical insights are being questioned and enriched by empirical research and vice versa. This results in ethical work that is grounded in lived experiences of those involved, and practices as such and/or their social-political context.

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