CFS: BMC Med Ethics

BMC Medical Ethics is an online journal publishing research articles after full peer review. All articles are published, without barriers to access, immediately upon acceptance. The journal is published by BioMed Central Ltd, Floor 6, 236 Gray’s Inn Road, London, WC1X 8HB, United Kingdom.

Scope: BMC Medical Ethics is an Open Access, peer-reviewed journal that considers articles on relation to the ethical aspects of biomedical research and clinical practice, including professional choices and conduct, medical technologies, healthcare systems and health policies.

Criteria for publication: Publication of research articles by BMC Medical Ethics is dependent primarily on their validity and coherence, as judged by peer reviewers, who are also asked whether the writing is comprehensible and how interesting they consider the article to be. If an article is of broad interest, the authors may be asked if they would prefer it to be published in BMC Medicine, and the article may be highlighted in a variety of ways as a service to our readers and contributors.

Speed of publication: BMC Medical Ethics offers a very fast publication schedule while maintaining rigorous peer review; all articles must be submitted online, and peer review is managed fully electronically (articles are distributed in PDF form, which is automatically generated from the submitted files). Articles will be published electronically in manuscript form immediately upon acceptance. A fully structured web version, and accompanying laid out PDF, will be published within a few weeks of acceptance.

Flexibility: As an electronic-only journal, BMC Medical Ethics offers authors the opportunity to publish large data sets, large numbers of illustrations and moving pictures, to display data in a form that can be read directly by other software packages so as to allow readers to manipulate the data for themselves, and to create all relevant links (for example, to PubMed, to sequence and other databases, and to other papers).

Submission of manuscripts: Manuscripts must be submitted to BMC Medical Ethics electronically using the online submission system. Full details of how to submit a manuscript are given in the instructions for authors.

Instructions for authors:



The New York Times reports on a growing concern about researchers’ misconduct and journal editors’ need to retract previously published articles:

The journal [Infection and Immunity] wound up retracting six of the papers from the author, Naoki Mori of the University of the Ryukyus in Japan. And it soon became clear that Infection and Immunity was hardly the only victim of Dr. Mori’s misconduct. Since then, other scientific journals have retracted two dozen of his papers, according to the watchdog blog Retraction Watch.

The article “A Sharp Rise in Retractions Prompts Calls for Reform” by Carl Zimmer is on line.

CFS: ARVs, HIV Prevention

Call for Papers for a Special Issue of Developing World Bioethics:Ethical Considerations in the Use of Anti-Retrovirals for HIV Prevention

Deadline for submissions: 31 July 2012 | Guest Editors: Ronald Bayer, Quarraisha Abdool Karim

Evidence-based approaches to reducing sexual transmission of HIV has remained a major challenge in responding to the HIV pandemic. The past 18 months has witnessed a substantial shift in this landscape. Controlled trials have demonstrated that the treatment of individuals with HIV infection reduces the risk of viral transmission to uninfected sexual partners (treatment as prevention). Additional evidence suggests the possibility of providing anti-retroviral medications to uninfected individuals may reduce the risk of acquiring HIV infection from sexual partners (PrEP— Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis). In view of scarce resources, there will inevitably be a need to prioritize who will get anti-retroviral drugs; those who are sick, those who can transmit HIV, those at risk for acquiring HIV. Research that focuses on the balance between efficiency and equity will be involved. Ethical frameworks for guiding decision-making at the clinical level as well as the macro social policy level will be essential.

Among the questions that will need to be discussed are:

  • i. What rights claims can uninfected persons make for access to ARVs for prophylactic purposes when millions across the globe are dying from AIDS because they cannot access ARV treatment?
  • ii. What moral claims can justify the provision of ARV therapy to those who do not yet clinically require treatment as a way of reducing the risks of HIV transmission?
  • iii. What normative issues are raised in making the determination that there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate the effectiveness of either PrEP or Treatment for Prevention?
  • iv. How should the social and biological vulnerability of women to HIV infection inform discussion about the allocations of resources for either PrEP or treatment as prevention?
  • v. If there is a risk that PrEP will increase the risk of drug resistance and compromise treatment options for those already infected, what ethical questions must be confronted?
  • vi. What conceptions of procedural fairness and inclusiveness should shape decision making processes about these allocation decisions?
  • vii. How should current research findings inform the ethics of trial design?
  • viii. Given current evidence what moral issues involving the protection of research subjects should be considered in determining the extent of ancillary services and care that should be provided in prevention trials?

The editors welcome early discussion of brief proposals and/or abstracts by email to: or

Upon submission authors should include full contact details and a few lines of autobiographical information in a separate electronic file. We discourage papers of more than 5000 words. For further submission requirements, format and referencing style, refer to the Author Guidelines on the Developing World Bioethics website:

Manuscripts should be submitted to Developing World Bioethics online at:  

Please ensure that you select manuscript type ‘Special Issue’ and state that it is for the ARV Special Issue.

CFP: Colo Ethics Forum

CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS: CHEF 2012: Borders and Barriers: Mapping a Moral Path

Deadline: February 15th, 2012

The 2012 Colorado Healthcare Ethics Forum Conference will be held April 26th and 27th, 2012 at The Stonebrook Manor Event Center and Gardens in Thornton, Colorado. This year’s theme is Borders and Barriers: Mapping a Moral Path. Ethics is a process of choosing among different paths, each path having its own unique obstacles and challenges. Some obstacles are moral in nature as we attempt to address conflicts among ethical principles or different methods of assessing the moral dimensions of a situation. Other challenges relate to conflicts among deeply held beliefs, values and preferences among patients, families, providers and the community at large. Finally, many obstacles are practical such as those involving scarce resources, limited time, lack of knowledge and uncertain outcomes. Borders are the diverse lines we often must cross when making ethical decisions including legal and regulatory requirements or competing political, social, religious and moral beliefs. Borders also include the fine lines between patients and families, providers and/or the organization. Barriers include all of the practical realities that seem to challenge our efforts at moral action including ineffective communication, lack of support, scarce resources and limited options.

The two day conference will have a Hot Topics track that will focus on high profile issues in the healthcare headlines and an Issues in Practice track that will focus on highly applied topics for individual and ethics committee development. Proposals are sought on a wide range of topics. Suggestions include:

  • Health care reform (e.g., financial constraints, access, quality, community based health care, accountable care organizations)
  • Allocation of resources (e.g., drug shortages, high cost treatment, new technologies)
  • Setting-specific topics (long term care, hospice, behavioral health, military healthcare)
  • Patient-centered topics (e.g., undocumented and/or indigent patients, patient compliance, spiritual care in different cultural and religious traditions)
  • Provider-centered topics (e.g., limits of provider conscience, compassion fatigue, moral distress)
  • Organization-centered topics (e.g., organizational ethics and social responsibility, quality management, privacy)
  • Vulnerable populations (cultural differences, children, research subjects)
  • Effective communication (e.g. difficult conversations, conflict management, language barriers)
  • Ethics committee development and performance (e.g., decision-making, consultation, leadership)
  • Moral theories, concepts and decision making


The Colorado Healthcare Ethics Forum is an active and diverse community of health professionals and laypersons in Colorado who work collaboratively to raise the awareness of ethical issues, promote ethical practice and respond to current and future ethical challenges in the delivery of health care. The annual CHEF conference attracts 150-175 participants annually and is well recognized throughout the Rocky Mountain region. For more on the vision, mission and values of CHEF, visit our website at  .

Please submit written proposals to Deb Bennett-Woods at  no later than February 15, 2012. Proposals should include the following:

  • Presentation type (Individual / Panel / Workshop). Individual and Panel presentations are typically scheduled for 60 minutes. Workshops may be proposed for longer periods, generally 2 hours.
  • Name, CV and a brief biography of presenter(s). (Note: Brief bios should be no more than 75 words.)
  • An abstract of the presentation, no longer than a single page, setting forth the issue, the presenter’s thesis, and the approach to be taken.
  • Any special presentation requirements (audio/visual, seating arrangements, etc) and limitations on availability for those dates.

In addition to requesting proposals, we encourage you to pass along any suggestions for speakers or presentations with which you may be familiar that would be a good match for this year’s conference.

CFP: Entity and Identity in Bioethics, Paris International Conference

Entity and Identity in Bioethics, Paris International Conference

Location: France | Call for Papers Deadline: February 10, 2012

The purpose of this conference is twofold: firstly, to engage researchers with different cultural, political, philosophical, religious backgrounds in a debate on the close relation between entity and identity in bioethics; and secondly, to obtain a better theoretical understanding of the identities of those that engage in bioethical debates. The International Conference will take place at Ecole Polytechnique, Paris from 23 to 24 April 2012 at and it is organized by Ars Identitatis Cultural Research Association. The proceedings will be published (after peer review): some in paperback format, the others in electronic format. Ars Identitatis encourages interdisciplinary debates, that is why we are inviting anyone who could contribute to this debate (Professors, Researchers, Journalists, NGO activists, Lawyers, Clerics, etc.). Submissions from graduate students are also encouraged. We accept both Panel proposals and Individual abstracts. Individual abstracts should be of no more than 450 words in length. Those who intend to send individual abstracts are kindly requested to submit also a short bio note. The person who submits a panel proposal is kindly requested to send us a short Curriculum Vitae (one page) together with a presentation of the panel and the abstracts. The other panelists should send only a short bio-note. Each panel proposal should contain at least two abstracts. The deadline for sending abstracts is February 10 but we encourage early submissions, in order to allow the selection commission to have enough time for deliberation. We will acknowledge receipt of your abstract. In case you don’t receive any reply from us after 3 days, please resend your abstract.

Ars Identitatis is an independent non-profit association. We are making efforts to keep as low as possible the logistics costs related to the conference and to the publication production process.

Please send your materials and address your enquiries to Ms. Silvia Stoica (President of Ars Identitatis) Mr. Ionut Untea (PhD candidate, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes) and Ms. Andrada Maran (Ecole Polytechnique) at:

For updates, please visit

Silvia Stoica, Ars Identitatis Cultiral Research Association, 49 Bd. de Clichy, 75009, Paris, France

CFP: Global Interdisciplinary Conference: The Patient

2nd Global Conference: The Patient (Wednesday 16th May – Friday 18th May 2012, Prague, Czech Republic)

The patient occupies a liminal, unstable position, precariously situated between home and hospital, work and bed, life and death. Although attended by doctors, nurses, family and friends, her condition—particularly if it is chronic—threatens to sever her connections with the world and to exile her into that fundamental solitude owned by the sick and suffering. Immersed in a medical system that seeks optimum outcomes with zero errors, the patient receives care delivered with industrial efficiency. Advances in diagnostic and therapeutic modalities provide both cure and control of chronic illness not imagined a decade ago. The patient, then, poised to benefit on multiple fronts, should be increasingly satisfied with the medical encounter; yet many patients feel alienated or even violated by the medical system. Many health care professionals also lament weaknesses in their technology-driven profession.

What defines a quality medical encounter from the patient’s perspective? What do medical practitioners—nurses, physicians, social workers—value in their relationship with the patient? How is this relationship preserved and nurtured? What are the opportunities or perils in the physician-patient relationship? It seems timely to counteract the quantification of the patient by the health care industry and to call for a humanistic reconstitution of the patient’s experience and situation—to reconsider, rethink, and empathically re-imagine the patient in her environments, ancient and contemporary, intimate and social. We invite papers from a wide range of perspectives—humanist, medical, artistic—addressing one or more of the following topics:

  • the patient in literary contexts
  • the patient in film
  • the patient in self-help books and pathographies
  • the dying patient
  • the identity of the patient
  • from person to patient
  • the patient and communication
  • the ill and the well
  • the chronic patient
  • the caregiver
  • the quality medical encounter from the perspective of the patient
  • the quality medical encounter from the perspective of the physician
  • biomedical ethics
  • the patient in the history of medicine
  • the patient in medical anthropology and sociology
  • patient empowerment

The Steering Group particularly welcomes the submission of pre-formed panel proposals. Papers will also be considered on any related theme. 300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 4th November 2011. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 9th March 2012. Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats with the following information and in this order: a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract, f) up to 10 keywords. E-mails should be entitled: THE PATIENT Abstract Submission. Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). Please note that a Book of Abstracts is planned for the end of the year. All accepted abstracts will be included in this publication. We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs: Mira Crouch, School if Social Science and International Studies The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia, Email: Mira Crouch | Nate Hinerman, Nursing/Theology and Religious Studies, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, USA, E-mail: Nate Hinerman | Rob Fisher, Inter-Disciplinary.Net, Priory House, Wroslyn Road, Freeland, Oxfordshire OX29 8HR, Email: Rob Fisher

The conference is part of the Persons series of ongoing research and publications projects conferences, run within the Probing the Boundaries domain which aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore innovative and challenging routes of intellectual and academic exploration. All papers accepted for and presented at the conference will be eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers may be developed for publication in a themed hard copy volume. For further details of the project, please visit:

For further details of the conference, please visit:

Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.