Giovanni Spitale

Giovanni Spitale, M.A.

PhD Student

Research Assistant


Giovanni Spitale, BA in philosophy and MA in philosophical sciences (Padova), with specialization on the bioethical aspects of blood, bone marrow and organ donations, is a PhD student and Research Data Manager at the Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine, University of Zurich.

After his graduation he first worked as a high school teacher (philosophy and history). During the spring/summer semester 2017 he has been offered a visiting research fellowship at Institut für Medizinische Ethik und Geschichte der Medizin, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, where his main duties were bibliographical research and critical literature analysis for framing the end-of-life issue. In September 2017 he moved to Zurich, beginning his PhD and his employment as Research Data Manager for the DIPEx framework. He is currently working on interactive approaches to risk and crisis communication, with an eye to the underlying ethical issues (PubliCo). Giovanni is also directing the DIPEx international research team working on the experiences of COVID-19 survivors

He has been a TEDx Speaker (Trento 2016).

CV in English 

Research interests

Applied ethics, organ transplantation ethics, end-of-life, relational autonomy and shared decision making, methodological issues in bioethics, narrative medicine, biopolicies and biopolitics.

Ongoing projects


  • Spitale G, Biller-Andorno N, Germani F. Concerns Around Opposition to the Green Pass in Italy: Social Listening Analysis by Using a Mixed Methods Approach. J Med Internet Res 2022;24(2):e34385;
  • Spitale G, Merten S, Jafflin K, Schwind B, Kaiser-Grolimund A, Biller-Andorno N. A Novel Risk and Crisis Communication Platform to Bridge the Gap Between Policy Makers and the Public in the Context of the COVID-19 Crisis (PubliCo): Protocol for a Mixed Methods Study JMIR Res Protoc 2021;10(11):e33653
  • Spitale G, COVID-19 and the ethics of quarantine: a lesson from the Eyam plague, Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy, 23, pages 603–609 (2020),;
  • Spitale G, Making sense in the flood. How to cope with the massive flow of digital information in medical ethics, Heliyon, Volume 6, Issue 7, 2020, e04426, ISSN 2405-8440,
  • Christen M, Baumann H, and Spitale G. ‘Der Einfluss von Zustimmungsmodellen, Spenderegistern und Angehörigen-Entscheid auf die Organspende. Eine Beurteilung der aktuellen Literatur. Interner Bericht für das Bundesamt für Gesundheit zu Fragen des Hirntods und der Organspende nach Kreislaufstillstand [The influence of consent models, donor registries and family decision on organ donation. An evaluation of the current literature. Internal report for the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health on questions of brain death and organ donation in accordance with Circulatory arrest]’. Ad Hoc report for the Federal Office of Public Health, 2018.
  • Giovanni Spitale, Hestia. Come sopravvivere alla fine del mondo (o quantomeno del proprio). Il Poligrafo, Padova, 2017. ISBN 978-88-7115-987-4;
  • Giovanni Spitale, Il dono nelle donazioni, una prospettiva bioetica. Il Poligrafo, Padova, 2015. ISBN 978-88-7115-913-3.


Scientific Coordinator of Academia Engelberg 2019

Active memberships in scientific societies

  • Digital Society Initiative, UZH;
  • Citizen Science Centre Zurich