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Special Issues

Every so often, the KIEJ has a special issue devoted to a particular topic. You can explore some previous special issues of the KIEJ, as well as calls for papers for upcoming special issues, below. Click on the images to get started.

Future Special Issues

• Special Issue: Regulating Bodies in the 'Obesity Era': Ethical, Social, and Legal Perspectives, September 2014

  1. We are pleased to announce that the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal will publish a special issue entitled "Regulating Bodies in the 'Obesity Era': Ethical, Social, and Legal Perspectives" in September 2014. Submissions should be between 6,000 and 8,000 words and prepared for blind review. All submissions must be received by March 1, 2014. Please use the standard KIEJ submission process, but indicate in your cover letter that you wish your paper to be considered for this special issue. Please also indicate whether you are interested in having your paper considered for publication in a regular issue of the journal, should we be unable to fit it in the special issue. Click on the image at right to download the official CFP.

Past Special Issues

• Special Issue: Science, Expertise, and Democracy, June 2012

  1. This special issue consists of five papers that developed from the inaugural Three Rivers Philosophy Conference held at the University of South Carolina in April 2011. Their topics range from a general analysis of the in-principle compatibility of scientific expertise and democracy to much more concrete studies of the intersection between scientific practices and democratic values in areas such as weight-of-evidence analysis, climate science, and studies of locally undesirable land uses. Contributors include Justin Weinberg, Kevin C. Elliott, Henry S. Richardson, Eric Winsberg, and others.

• Special Issue: Ethics and Public Policy in Stem Cell Research, March 2009

  1. This special issue featured a collection of responses to President Barack Obama's 2009 executive order rolling back the sharp limitations on federally funded human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research. This order revoked a policy that had been in place since 2001, when a statement issued by President George W. Bush during a televised speech had put the limitations in place. Commentary by Dan Sulmasy, Robert P. George, Mary Majumder, Cynthia Cohen, Gerard Magill, William Neaves, Mark Brown, and others.

• Special Issue: Is Bioethics Applied Ethics?, March 2007

  1. Bioethics is often referred to as a kind of "applied" ethics, involving the application of premises from an ethical theory to some problem or set of problems in a given domain: engineering ethics, legal ethics, business ethics. But the term is somewhat controversial, for it implies the direct application of moral principles that are conceptually prior to the particular problems of the problem or field in question. Is bioethics an "applied" ethics in this way? Commentary from Robert Veatch, Lawrence McCullough, Daniel Fox, and others.

• Special Issue: Justice and Genetic Enhancement, March 2005

  1. The completion of the full sequence of the human genome in April 2003 opened the door to an era of genetic medicine. This scientific achievement opens new avenues for understanding and correcting the mechanisms of disease, yet at the same time is also brings forward the possibility of genetic enhancement: interventions that aim to improve health and functioning beyond what has been "normal" for the species. Whether such developments represent a logical next step in human health intervention or a terrifying abuse of science is discussed by Fritz Alhoff, Isaac Mwase, and others.

• Special Issue: The President's Council on Bioethics & the National Bioethics Commissions, Sept. 2005

  1. National bioethics commissions have been established over the past 30 years for a variety of overlapping purposes: to call attention to controversial topics; to present ethical arguments for and against certain options; to offer recommendations regarding governmental, organizational, and professional policies. One of their most important functions is to highlight concerns that the are shared by citizens who are not themselves policymakers, a job that some argue such commissions have not always performed well. Contributors include Leon Kass, Mary Anderlik, Madison Powers, and others.

• Special Issue: Public Attitudes on Death and Organ Procurement, Sept. 2004

  1. This special issue of the KIEJ focuses on a recent piece of empirical data: a study (Siminoff, Burant & Youngner, 2004) that aimed to find out more about what the general public understands and believes about when a person is dead. More specifically, the study tried to determine how members of the public define death, especially their acceptance and interpretation of the medical concept of "brain death," and their attitudes toward the so-called "dead donor rule." Commentary by Laura Siminoff, Stuart Youngner, and others.

• Special Issue: Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research, March 2004

  1. The announcement in February 2004 that stem cell investigators in South Korea had created the first documented cloned human embryos and had derived a colony of stem cells from one of the embryos demonstrates that scientific research is proceeding even as the policy debates continue and new policies are enacted. This issue of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal focuses on current national and international policy in the area of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research. Commentary by LeRoy Walters, Anna Mastroianni, Alfonso Gómez-Lobo, and others.

• Special Issue: Is There a Common Morality?, Sept. 2003

  1. One of the most exciting and important developments in recent ethical theory -- especially bioethical theory -- is the emergence of the concept of "common morality," some set of core moral principles and norms that normal humans are inclined, pre-theoretically, to endorse. Some of the most influential theories in bioethics have endorsed the notion, using it as the starting point of their systems. This issue of the KIEJ is devoted to these developments. Commentary by Leigh Turner, David DeGrazia, Jeffrey Brand-Ballard, Tom Beauchamp, and others.

• Special Issue: Who's Afraid of Commodification?, Sept. 2001

  1. Commodification has become a kind of buzz-word in bioethics. As we become technically more adept at detaching elements of human bodies and making use of them for others, more and more entities -- from motherhood to gametes to kidneys to our very DNA -- can be borrowed, rented, bought, and sold. Other technology allows us unprecedented influence over the characteristics of our offspring and ourselves, enabling a kind of self-objectification that many find morally problematic. Commentary by Dena Davis, Lisa Cahill, Ronald Green, and others.

• Special Issue: Medicine Laid Open, March 1999

  1. The past four decades have witnessed the emergence and remarkable success of the fields of bioethics and medical humanities. The intellectual landscape of medicine and that of the humanities have been remarkably altered in the process, with new undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as professional centers and publications, devoted to this new discipline at the boundaries of medicine, science, history, and philosophy. Commentary by Laurence McCullough, Warren Reich, Daniel Callahan, Ed Pellegrino, and Doris Goldstein.

• Special Issue: Genetic Testing, June 1998

  1. The explosion of genetic information in recent years raises a fundamental question: ought we to discover as much as possible about our genes -- or should we bypass this information instead? Genetic knowledge is at once empowering and disempowering. It offers us the freedom to shape the contours of our lives and those of our families, yet at the same time, it bears a peculiar mark of inevitability, telling us that we have no control over our present or future in important respects. Commentary by Barbara Biesecker, Sonia Suter, and others.

• Special Issue: Ethical Challenges In Managed Care, Dec. 1997

  1. Managed care involves a system of health care delivery that manages resources, quality, and access associated with the delivery of health care. The key element of managed care is that, for the first time, managers -- often from outside the health care professions -- are able to intentionally control resources, and therefore controlling health care professional decisions that use them. This leaves important cost and quality of life balancing decisions in the hands of nonspecialists. Commentary by Edmund Pellegrino, Ashby Sharpe, Larry Gostin, and others.

• Special Issue: Bioethics in the 21st Century, Dec. 1996

  1. The Kennedy Institute of Ethics celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary at the annual Intensive Bioethics Course in March 1996. The course, entitled "Bioethics in the Twenty-First Century," provided an opportunity for twenty former and present senior research scholars of the Institute to reflect on the past and anticipate the future of bioethics in the next century. This issue ontains eighteen of the papers presented at the course, including articles from Ruth Faden, Warren Reich, Rihito Kimura, and others.

• Special Issue: Feminist Perspectives on Bioethics, March 1996

  1. Many have asked how and why feminist theory makes a distinctive contribution to bioethics. Answers explored in this volume include: it may expose androcentric reasoning that can affect the substantive analysis of topics in bioethics; it can unearth the gendered nature of certain basic philosophical concepts that form the working tools of ethical theory; it can provide its own unique answer to traditional questions in bioethics by invoking an "ethic of care." Commentary by Margaret Little, Hilde Lindemann, Alisa Carse, Rosemarie Tong, and others.

• Special Issue: Procuring Organs from Non-Heart-Beating Cadavers, June 1993

  1. Organ Transplantation requires viable donor organs. This simple fact has become the Achilles' heel of transplantation programs. Progress in immunology and transplant surgery has outstripped the supply of available organs. Increasingly, health care professionals have urged reliance on organs from non-heart-beating cadavers to help meet this demand -- yet there are unique ethical, psychosocial, and public policy implications for this mode of procurement. Commentary by Robert Arnold, Stuart Younger, Michael DeVita, Ake Grenvik, and others.