PD Dr. Stuart McLennan

Director of Research

Stuart McLennan is a Senior Research Associate at the Institute for the History and Ethics of Medicine (IGEM) at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). He has been Deputy Director of the Institute since 2022.

His research tends to be highly interdisciplinary and practice-oriented, using the empirical bioethics approach that integrates ethical, legal, and policy analysis with empirical methods. His general research focus is on ethical and regulatory issues related to learning health systems, particularly data science and AI in health care, patient safety and quality improvement, and clinical research. He is also deeply involved in the development of the new interdisciplinary approach of the embedded ethics (EE) involved in integrating ethical considerations into AI development.

He has successfully led 9 funded research projects to date with external funding of approximately EUR 451,000. His research has been published in leading medical ethics and health journals. He has developed an extensive German and English language teaching program in medical ethics and medical humanities for medical students in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

Stuart McLennan holds a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy (with a focus on ethics and moral philosophy), a Master's degree in Bioethics and Health Law (with distinction), a PhD in Biomedical Ethics (with Summa Cum Laude), and in December 2020 he received his Habilitation and Venia docendi in Biomedical Ethics from the Medical Faculty of the University of Basel. The rehabilitation procedure at the Medical Faculty of TUM was successfully completed in fall 2021.

  • Learning health systems
  • Ethics of medical AI
  • Embedded Ethics
  • Patient safety and quality improvement
  • Clinical research
Fritzsche, M-C; Akyüz, K; Cano Abadía, M; McLennan, S; P, Marttinen; Mayrhofer, MT; Buyx, AM; (2023) Ethical layering in AI-driven polygenic risk scoresNew complexities, new challenges. , Front. Genet. 14:1098439, doi: 10.3389/fgene.2023.1098439
Heravi, T; Henn, A; Deuster, S; McLennan, Stuart; V, Gloy; Mitter, V; Briel, M; (2022) Investigational Medicinal Products, related Costs and Hospital Pharmacy Services for Investigator-Initiated Trials: An empirical mixed-methods study, PLOS ONE, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0264427
Satalkar, P*; McLennan, Stuart*; Elger, BS; von Elm, E; M, Briel; (2022) Investigators' sense of failure thwarted transparency in clinical trials discontinued for poor recruitment , Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 145, 136-143, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2022.01.024
McLennan, Stuart; Rachut, S; Lange, J; Fiske, Amelia; D, Heckmann; Buyx, Alena; (2022) Practices and attitudes of Bavarian stakeholders regarding the secondary-use of health data for research purposes during the COVID-19 pandemic: a qualitative interview study, Journal of Medical Internet Research, 24, 6, e38754, 10.2196/38754.
Wilhelm, D; Hartwig, R; McLennan, Stuart; Arnold, S; P, Mildner; Feußner, H; Neumuth, T; Bieck, R; (2022) Ethical, legal, and social implications in the application of artificial intelligence-assisted technologies in surgery , The Surgeon, 3, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00104-022-01574-2
McLennan, Stuart; Buyx, Alena; (2022) Ethical aspects of digital health technologies Marckmann, Georg; , Praxisbuch Ethik in der Medizin [Practical book on ethics in medicine], 2. aktualisierte und erweiterte Auflage [2nd edition], Berlin, Medizinisch Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft, 227-234.
McLennan, Stuart; Fiske, Amelia; Tigard, Daniel; Müller, R; Sami, Haddadin; Buyx, Alena; (2022) Embedded ethics: a proposal for integrating ethics into the development of medical AI , BMC Med Ethics, 23, 6, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12910-022-00746-3
Hangel, Nora; Schönweitz, Franziska; McLennan, Stuart; Fiske, Amelia; Bettina, Zimmermann; Buyx, Alena; (2022) Solidaristic behavior and its limits: A qualitative study about German and Swiss residents' behaviors toward public health measures during COVID-19 lockdown in April 2020, SSM - Qualitative Research in Health, 2, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssmqr.2022.100051
Fiske, Amelia; Schönweitz, Franziska; Eichinger, Johanna; Zimmermann, Bettina; Nora, Hangel; Sierawska, Anna; McLennan, Stuart; Buyx, Alena; (2022) The COVID-19 Vaccine: Trust, doubt, and hope for a future beyond the pandemic in Germany, Plos One, 17, 4, e0266659, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0266659
Fiske, Amelia; Galasso, Ilaria; Zimmermann, Bettina; McLennan, Stuart; Isabella, Radhuber; Prainsack, Barbara; (2022) The Second Pandemic: Examining structural inequality through reverberations of COVID-19 in Europe, Social Science and Medicine, 292, 114634.
McLennan, Stuart; (2022) Die ethische Aufsicht über die Datenwissenschaft im Gesundheitswesen [The ethical oversight of data science in health care] Richter, Gesine; Loh, W; Buyx, Alena; Graf von Kielmansegg, S; , Data-rich medicine and the problem of consent:, Ethical, Legal and Social Science Perspectives [Data-rich medicine and the problem of consent: Ethical, Legal and Social Science Perspectives], Berlin/Heidelberg, 55-69, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-62987-1_4
Fiske, Amelia; McLennan, Stuart; (2022) Diversity in German-speaking medical ethics and humanities , Accepted with Journal of Bioethical Inquiry.
Fiske, Amelia; McLennan, Stuart; Buyx, Alena; (2022) Qualitative evidence for concern: digital health technologies and the COVID-19 pandemic, AJOB Neuroscience, 13, 3, 204-206, https://doi.org/10.1080/21507740.2022.2082587
McLennan, Stuart; Jansen, Carolin; Buyx, Alena; (2021) The Discussion of Risk in German Surgical Clinical Practice Guidelines: A Qualitative Review, Innovative Surgical Science, https://doi.org/10.1515/iss-2020-0026
Eichinger, Johanna; Kone, I; Filges, I; Shaw, D; Bettina, Zimmermann; Elger, B; McLennan, Stuart; (2021) The full spectrum of ethical issues in pediatric genome-wide sequencing: a systematic qualitative review, BMC Pediatrics, 21, 387, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12887-021-02830-w
McLennan, Stuart; Griessbach, A; Briel, M; (2021) Practices and attitudes of Swiss stakeholders regarding investigator-initiated clinical trials funding acquisition and cost management , JAMA Network Open, 4, 6, e2111847, https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.11847
McLennan, Stuart; Nussbaumer-Streit, B; Hemkens, L; Briel, M; (2021) Barriers and Facilitating Factors for Conducting Systematic Evidence Assessments in Academic Clinical Trials , JAMA Network Open, 4, 11, e2136577, 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.36577.
Fiske, Amelia; McLennan, Stuart; Buyx, Alena; (2021) Ethical insights from the Covid-19 pandemic in Germany: considerations for building resilient healthcare systems in Europe, Lancet Regional Health Europe, 9, 23.05.2174, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lanepe.2021.100213
Briel, M; Elger, B; McLennan, Stuart; Schandelmaier, S; E, von Elm; Satalkar, P; (2021) Exploring reasons for recruitment failure in clinical trials: a qualitative study with clinical trial stakeholders in Switzerland, Germany, and Canada, Trials, 22, 844, https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-021-05818-0
Emmert, M*; McLennan, Stuart*; (2021) One Decade of Online Patient Feedback: A Longitudinal Analysis of Data from a German Physician Rating Website, Journal of Medical Internet Research, 23, 7, e24229, https://doi.org/10.2196/24229
Fiske, Amelia; Schneider, A; McLennan, Stuart; Karapetyan, S; Alena, Buyx; (2021) The Impact of COVID-19 on Patient Health and Self-Care Practices: A mixed methods survey with German patients, BMJ Open, http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2021-051167
Zimmermann, Bettina; Fiske, Amelia; McLennan, Stuart; Sierawska, Anna; Nora, Hangel; Buyx, Alena; (2021) Motivations and Limits for COVID-19 Policy Compliance in Germany and Switzerland , International Journal of Health Policy and Management, 10.34172/ijhpm.2021.30.
Kuhn, Eva; Müller, S; Teusch, C; Tanner, G; M, Gude; Baur, C; Heidbrink, L; Bamberg, E; McLennan, Stuart; Buyx, Alena; (2021) Interfaces of occupational health management and corporate social responsibility: A multi-center qualitative study from Germany, BMC Public Health, 21, 1042, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-11016-z
McLennan, Stuart; (2020) Rejected online feedback from a Swiss physician rating website between 2008 and 2017: analysis of 2352 ratings, Journal of Medical Internet Research, 22, 8, e18374, https://doi.org/10.2196/18374
Gloy, V; McLennan, Stuart; Rinderknecht, M; Ley, B; B, Meier; Driessen, S; Gervasoni, P; Hirschel, B; Benkert, P; Gilles, I; von Elm, E; Briel, M; (2020) Uncertainties about the need for ethics approval in Switzerland: a mixed-methods study, Swiss Medical Weekly, 150, w20318, https://doi.org/10.4414/smw.2020.20318
McLennan, Stuart; Lee, MM; Fiske, Amelia; Celi, LA; (2020) AI ethics is not a panacea , The American Journal of Bioethics, 20, 11, 20-22, https://doi.org/10.1080/15265161.2020.1819470
McLennan, Stuart; Fiske, Amelia; Celi, LA; Müller, R; J, Harder; Ritt, K; Haddadin, S; Buyx, Alena; (2020) An embedded ethics approach for AI development , Nature Machine Intelligence, 2, 488-490, https://doi.org/10.1038/s42256-020-0214-1
Fiske, Amelia; Tigard, Daniel; Müller, Ruth; Haddadin, Sami; Alena, Buyx; McLennan, Stuart; (2020) Embedded ethics could help implement the pipeline model framework for machine learning healthcare applications Comment , American Journal of Bioethics, doi.org/10.1080/15265161.2020.1820101
McLennan, Stuart; Fiske, Amelia; Haddadin, Sami; Harder, Jan; Alena, Buyx; (2020) Embedded ethics: A proposal for integrating ethics into the development of healthcare AI, Nature Machine Intelligence, https://doi.org/10.1038/s42256-020-0214-1
McLennan, Stuart; Shaw, D; Celi, LA; (2019) The challenge of local consent requirements for global critical care databases , Intensive Care Medicine, 45, 246-248, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00134-018-5257-y
McLennan, Stuart; Moore, J; (2019) New Zealand District Health Boards' Open Disclosure Policies: A Qualitative Review, Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, 16, 1, 35-44, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11673-018-9894-1
McLennan, Stuart; (2019) The ethical oversight of learning health care activities in Switzerland: a qualitative study, International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 31, 31, G81-G86, https://doi.org/10.1093/intqhc/mzz045
McLennan, Stuart; (2019) The Content and Nature of Narrative Comments on Swiss Physician Rating Websites: Analysis of 849 Comments, Journal of Medical Internet Research, 21, 9, e14336, https://doi.org/10.2196/14336
Martani, A; Genevieve, LD; Pauli-Magnus, C; McLennan, Stuart*; B*, Elger; (2019) Regulating the secondary use of data for research: arguments against genetic exceptionalism, Frontiers in Genetics, 10, 1254, https://doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2019.01254
McLennan, Stuart; (2019) Quantitative Ratings and Narrative Comments on Swiss Physician Rating Websites: Frequency Analysis, Journal of Medical Internet Research, 21, 7, e13816, https://doi.org/10.2196/13816
McLennan, Stuart; Strech, D; Kahrass, H; (2018) Why are so few patients rating their physicians on German physician rating websites? A qualitative study, BMC Health Services Research, 18, 670, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-018-3492-0
McLennan, Stuart; Kahrass, H; Wieschowski, S; Strech, D; H, Langhof; (2018) The spectrum of ethical issues in a learning health care system: a systematic qualitative review, International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 30, 3, 161-168, https://doi.org/10.1093/intqhc/mzy005
McLennan, Stuart; (2018) The law as a barrier to error disclosure: a misguided focus? , Trends in Anaesthesia and Critical Care, 19, p. 1-5, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tacc.2018.02.002
Tyler, PD; Stone, DJ; Geisler, BP; McLennan, Stuart; LA, Celi; Rush, BR; (2018) Racial and Geographic Disparities in Interhospital ICU Transfers , Critical Care Medicine, 46, 1, e76-e80, https://doi.org/10.1097/CCM.0000000000002776
McLennan, Stuart; Maritz, R; Shaw, D; Elger, B; (2018) The inconsistent ethical oversight of health care quality data in Switzerland , Swiss Medical Weekly, 148, w14637, https://doi.org/10.4414/smw.2018.14637
McLennan, Stuart; Strech, D; Kahrass, H; (2017) Public awareness and use of German physician ratings sites: Cross-sectional survey of four north German cities, Journal of Medical Internet Research, 19, 11, e387, https://doi.org/10.2196/jmir.7581
Pless, A; Shaw, D; McLennan, S*; Elger, E*; (2017) Nurses' Attitudes toward Enforced Measures to Increase Influenza Vaccination: A Qualitative Study, Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses, 11, 3, 247-253, https://doi.org/10.1111/irv.12441
McLennan, Stuart; Strech, D; Reimann, S; (2017) Developments in the Frequency of Ratings and Evaluation Tendencies: A Review of German Physician Rating Websites, Journal of Medical Internet Research, 19, 8, e299, https://doi.org/10.2196/jmir.6599
McLennan, Stuart; Schwappach, D; Harder, Y; Staender, S; B, Elger; (2017) Patient Safety Issues in Office-based Surgery and Anaesthesia in Switzerland: A Qualitative Study, Journal of Evidence, Continuing Education, and Quality in Health Care [The Journal of Evidence and Quality in Health Care], 125, 23-29, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.zefq.2017.06.002
Pless, A*; McLennan, Stuart*; Nicca, D; Shaw, D; B, Elger; (2017) Reasons why Nurses Decline Influenza Vaccination: a Qualitative Study, BMC Nursing, 16, p. 20, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12912-017-0215-5
McLennan, Stuart; Diebold, M; Rich, LE; Elger, B; (2016) Nurses' Perspectives Regarding the Disclosure of Errors to Patients: A Qualitative Study, International Journal of Nursing Studies, 54, 16-22, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2014.10.001
McLennan, Stuart; Rich, LE; Truog, RD; (2015) Apologies in medicine: legal protection is not enough, Canadian Medical Association Journal, 187, 5, E156-159, https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.131860
McLennan, Stuart; Shaw, D; Leu, A; Elger, B; (2015) Professional Liability Insurance and Medical Error Disclosure , Swiss Medical Weekly, 145, w14173, https://doi.org/10.4414/smw.2015.14164
McLennan, Stuart; Engel-Glatter, S; Meyer, AH; Schwappach, DLB; DH, Scheidegger; Elger, B; (2015) The Impact of Medical Errors on Swiss Anaesthesiologists: A Cross-Sectional Survey, Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica, 59, 990-998, https://doi.org/10.1111/aas.12517
McLennan, Stuart; Elger, B; (2015) Criminal Liability and Medical Errors in Switzerland: An Unjust System?, Revue Suisse de droit de la santé/Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Gesundheitsrecht [Swiss Journal of Health Law], 135-142.
Werding, M; McLennan, Stuart; (2015) International portability of health-cost coverage: mobility, insurance, and redistribution, CESifo Economic Studies, 61, 2, 484-519, https://doi.org/10.1093/cesifo/ifu022
McLennan, Stuart; Engel-Glatter, S; Meyer, AH; Schwappach, DLB; DH, Scheidegger; Elger, B; (2015) Disclosing and reporting medical errors: cross-sectional survey of Swiss anesthesiologists, European Journal of Anaesthesiology, 2, 7, 471-476, https://doi.org/10.1097/EJA.0000000000000236
McLennan, Stuart; (2014) Behandlungsfehler [Medical Errors] Elger, B; Biller-Andorno, N; Rütsche, B; , Ethik und Recht in Medizin und Biowissenschaften, aktuelle Fallbeispiele aus Klinischer Praxis und Forschung [Ethics and Law in Medicine and Biological Sciences - Current Case Studies from Clinical Practice and Research], Berlin, De Gruyter, p. 3-18.
Fuchs, L; Novack, V; McLennan, Stuart; Celi, LA; Y, Baumfeld; Park, S; Howell, MD; Talmor, DS; McLennan, Stuart; Talmor, D; Celi, LA; (2014) Trends in severity of illness on ICU admission and mortality among the elderly , PLOS ONE, 9, 4, e93234, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0093234
McLennan, Stuart; Rich, LE; (2014) Should Health Care Providers Be Forced to Apologize After Things Go Wrong? , Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, 11, 4, 431-435, https://doi.org/10.1111/jdv.18192
McLennan, Stuart; Engel, S; Ruhe, K; Leu, A; D, Schwappach; Elger, B; (2013) Implementation Status of Error Disclosure Standards Reported by Swiss Hospitals , Swiss Medical Weekly, 143, w13820, https://doi.org/10.4414/smw.2013.13820
McLennan, Stuart; (2013) The Handling of Medical Errors in New Zealand Frewer, A; Schmidt, KW; Bergemann, L; , Yearbook Ethics in the Clinic: Errors and Ethics in Medicine, New Approaches for Patients' Rights], Würzburg, Königshausen & Neumann, 339-345.
McLennan, Stuart; Truog, RD; (2013) Apology Laws and Open Disclosure , Medical Journal of Australia, 198, 8, 411-412, https://doi.org/10.5694/mja12.11339
McLennan, Stuart; Beitat, K; Lauterberg, J; Vollmann, J; (2012) Regulating Open Disclosure: A German Perspective, International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 24, 1, 23-27, https://doi.org/10.1093/intqhc/mzr073
McLennan, Stuart; (2012) CPR Policies and the Patient's Best Interests , Journal of Resuscitation, 83, 168-170, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resuscitation.2011.10.007
McLennan, Stuart; (2012) Accessing Justice After An Adverse Event: An International PerspectiveSchmidt, KW; Sold, M; Verrel, T; , On Dealing with Medical Errors: (Organizations) Ethical, Legal and Psychological Aspects], Berlin, Lit Verlag, 263-275.
McLennan, Stuart; Paterson, R; Skegg, PDG; Aickin, R; (2011) The use of CPR in New Zealand: is it always lawful?, New Zealand Medical Journal, 124, 1328, 106-112, https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal-articles/the-use-of-cpr-in-new-zealand-is-it-always-lawful
McLennan, Stuart; Celi, LA; Gillett, G; Penney, J; M, Foss; (2010) Nurses share their views on end-of-life issues , Kai Tiaki Nursing New Zealand, 16, 4, p. 12-14.
McLennan, Stuart; Wicker, S; (2010) Reflections of the influenza vaccination of healthcare workers , Vaccine, 28, 51, 8061-8064, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2010.10.019
McLennan, Stuart; Vollweiler, M; Celi, LA; (2009) How can nurses' 'flu vaccination rates be boosted? , Kai Tiaki Nursing New Zealand, 15, 4, p. 12-14.
Glasgow, JL; McLennan, Stuart; High, KJ; Celi, LA; (2008) Quality of Dying in a New Zealand Teaching Hospital , Quality and Safety in Health Care, 17, 4, 244-248, http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/qshc.2007.024745
McLennan, Stuart; Gillett, G; Ceil, LA; (2008) Healer, heal thyself: health care workers and the influenza vaccination, American Journal of Infection Control. 2008;36(1):1-4., 36, 1, p. 1-4, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2007.07.010
McLennan, Stuart; (2008) The development of CPR , New Zealand Medical Journal, 121, 1284, 71-77.
Carden, GP; Graham, JW; McLennan, Stuart; Celi, LA; (2008) Long-Term Outcome of Long Stay ICU and HDU Patients in a New Zealand Hospital , Critical Care and Shock, 11, 1, 173-181, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3678292/pdf/nihms-393273.pdf
McLennan, Stuart; Celi, LA; Roth, P; (2007) The Health and Safety in Employment Act and the influenza vaccination of healthcare workers , New Zealand Medical Journal, 120, 1250, p. 1-6.
McLennan, Stuart; (2005) Surrogacy and the Child's Right to Identity , New Zealand Family Law Journal, 5, 4, 96-100.
  • Ethics and Palliative Care Seminar (Certificate of Achievement GTE) (SoSe and WiSe)
  • Ethical Considerations in Global Health (SoSe). Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Technical University of Munich.
  • AI Ethics in Medical Imaging (WiSe). Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technical University of Munich

Stuart McLennan gives scientific and public lectures on the following topics:

  • Learning health systems
  • Ethics of medical AI
  • Embedded Ethics
  • Patient safety and quality improvement
  • Clinical research