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Els van Wijngaarden

Els van Wijngaarden
Position

universitair docent, onderzoeker
assistant professor, researcher

English biography

Els van Wijngaarden (1976) works as an assistant professor and researcher at the University of Humanistic Studies. Her 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. 

Next to her work at the university, she currently works as a senior researcher at the research organisation Tao of Care where she conducts narrative research into formal and informal care practices for people with dementia and their networks. 

In November 2016, Van Wijngaarden finished her PhD on ‘Older people who consider their lives to be completed and no longer worth living’. 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.

www.elsvanwijngaarden.com

Research

Els van Wijngaarden verricht promotieonderzoek naar de thematiek van het 'voltooid leven' bij ouderen, een onderzoek dat mede gefinancierd is door de Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO), projectnummer 023.001.035. Zo nam zij diepte-interviews af bij ouderen, die hun leven als 'voltooid' beschouwden en de wens hebben om hun levenseinde zelf te bepalen. Niet eerder zijn in Nederland de beweegredenen van ouderen die hun leven te willen beëindigen vanwege niet-medische redenen, zo intensief onderzocht. Haar onderzoek geniet dan ook veel belangstelling. Ze ontving voor haar onderzoek de Dissertatieprijs 2017 van de Stichting Praemium Erasmianum.

Voor een overzicht van haar onderzoek in de media, klik hier.

Selection of publications

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