Bioethics Blogs

Narrative Symposium: Taking Bioethics Personally

Narrative Symposium: Taking Bioethics Personally    

Edited by Tod Chambers, PhD


Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics will publish an issue devoted to personal stories from bioethics about the experience of being ill or caring for a person who is ill. We are particularly interested in those stories that have affected how a bioethicist “does” ethics. We want true, personal stories in a form that is easy to read. 

In writing your story, you might want to think about:

  • How did the experience of illness change your thinking on a moral problem in medicine? Did seeing issues such as informed consent played out in your own life alter how you would now advise health care professionals about caring for patients?
  • How did your experiences teach you about an element of medicine that as an outsider you never fully understood? Has it changed how you see patients?
  • Did this experience challenge some essential philosophical positions?
  • How would your views about and work in bioethics have been different if you had experienced this illness before entering the field?
  • Did you form any new ideas about how you think medicine should be practice? Bioethics?


You do not need to address these questions–write on the issues that you think are most important to share with others. You do not need to be a writer, just tell your story in your own words. We plan to publish 10 to 12 brief stories (800-2,000 words) on this topic. Additional stories may be published as online-only supplemental material. We also publish two commentary articles that discuss the stories in the journal.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.