Bioethical Issues: Scope Notes Archive

To promote research in the interdisciplinary field of bioethics, the Bioethics Research Library produced a series of 47 Scope Notes — annotated bibliographies with introductory essays — to provide a range of opinions on bioethical issues. They were not designed as a comprehensive review, but rather offered immediate reference to facts, opinion, and legal precedents (if applicable) for scholars, journalists, medical and legal practitioners, students, and other interested persons. They were created from 1982 to 2008 as the field of bioethics expanded and new issues emerged.

The Bioethics Scope Notes are available to individual researchers on the Bioethics Research Library website and at the Georgetown University Institutional Repository. Any redistribution or commercial use of these copyrighted works requires written permission of the Bioethics Research Library. Please note that from Scope Note 15 until Scope Note 47 the series also appeared in the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal.

While the Scope Notes Archive is intended to provide a historical look at issues in Bioethics as they emerged, Scope Notes 17, 22, 24, and 28 were later updated in July 2011 as part of the Bioethics Research Library’s National Information Resource on Ethics and Human Genetics preservation project

In February 2015 a new “Bioethics Brief” Scope Note, only two pages of length, was published through DigitalGeorgetown on the subject of Neuroethics as number 48. This was an alternate introduction to part two of the Neuroethics bibliography published on PEHM.

Full List of Scope Notes

Presented in reverse-chronological order.

48. The Neuroscience of Morality and Consciousness: A Brief Introduction. DigitalGeorgetown. February  2015. 2 p.

47. Medical Tourism: Crossing Borders to Access Health Care. KIEJ. June 2008. 8 p.

46. Pharmacists and Conscientious Objection. KIEJ. December 2006. 14 p.

45. Bioethics, Biolaw, and Western Legal Heritage. KIEJ. June 2005. 8 p.

44. Vulnerability, Vulnerable Populations, and Policy. KIEJ. December 2004. 15 p.

43. Incentives for Providing Organs. KIEJ. March 2003. 12 p.

42. Bioethics and Cloning, Part II. KIEJ. Reprinted with Bioethics and Cloning, Part I, March 2003 as a special double-issue Scope Note. 59 p.

41. Bioethics and Cloning, Part I. KIEJ. Reprinted with Bioethics and Cloning, Part II, March 2003 as a special double-issue Scope Note. 59 p.

** Scope Notes 41 and 42 are reprinted as a special double-issue, “Bioethics and Cloning,” March 2003. 59 p.

This special, double-issue scope note includes an introductory essay and annotations on the scientific history of cloning, historical ethics commentary, animal welfare and cloning, U.S. and international laws and legal literature, philosophical and religious perspectives on cloning, and cloning in film and fiction. In addition, the executive summaries from the cloning reports prepared by the National Bioethics Advisory Commission (Cloning Human Beings: Report and Recommendations) and the President’s Council on Bioethics (Human Cloning and Human Dignity: An Ethical Inquiry) are reprinted.

40. Animals in Research and Education: Ethical Issues. KIEJ. Reprinted March 2001. 19 p.

39. Genes, Patents, and Bioethics – Will History Repeat Itself? KIEJ. Reprinted April 2001. 14 p. (Updated July 2010)

38. Bioethics Resources on the Web. KIEJ. Reprint forthcoming. (Updated September 2009)

37. Basic Resources in Bioethics: 1996-1999. KIEJ. Reprint forthcoming.

36. Organizational Ethics and Health Care: Expanding Bioethics to the Institutional Arena. KIEJ. Reprinted September 1999. 14 p.

35. Public Health Ethics: Health by the Numbers. KIEJ. Reprinted October 1998. 14 p.

34. Bioethics Commissions: Town Meetings with a “Blue, Blue Ribbon”. KIEJ. Reprinted March 1998. 15 p.

33. Landmark Legal Cases in Bioethics. KIEJ. Reprinted August 1997. 14 p.

32. A Just Share: Justice and Fairness in Resource Allocation. KIEJ. Reprinted August 1997. 17 p.

31. Managed Health Care: New Ethical Issues for All. KIEJ. Reprinted June 1996. 12 p.

30. Feminist Perspectives on Bioethics. KIEJ. Reprinted April 1996. 13 p.

29. Organ Transplant Allocation. KIEJ. Reprinted January 1996. 13 p.

Researchers associated with institutional libraries subscribing to Project Muse can access the full text of Scope Notes 30 to date at the Project Muse web site ( Further information concerning Project Muse and how to subscribe is also available there. 

28. Eugenics. KIEJ. Reprinted June 1995. 11 p. (Last updated July 2011)

27. Gender Issues in Health Care. KIEJ. Reprinted March 1995. 14 p.

26. Religious Perspectives on Bioethics: Pt. II. KIEJ. Reprinted December 1994. 24 p.

25. Religious Perspectives on Bioethics: Pt. I. KIEJ. Reprinted June 1994. 23 p.

24. Human Gene Transfer Research. KIEJ. Reprinted March 1994. 15 p. (Last updated July 2011)

23. Bioethics Consultation. KIEJ. Reprinted January 1994. 15 p.

22. Genetic Testing and Genetic Screening. KIEJ. Reprinted September 1993. 17 p. (Last updated July 2011)

21. Fetal Tissue Research. KIEJ. Reprinted March 1993. 15 p.

20. A Right to Health Care. KIEJ. Reprinted January 1993. 13 p.

20 Appendix. Aristotle and the Right to Health Care: A Cautionary Tale.  March 2008. 5 p.

19. Nursing Ethics. KIEJ. Reprinted June 1992. 18 p.

18. Active Euthanasia/Assisted Suicide. KIEJ. Reprinted March 1992. 17 p.

17. Human Genome Project. KIEJ. Reprinted November 1991. 11p. (Last updated July 2011)

16. Teaching Ethics in the Health Care Setting. KIEJ. Reprinted September 1991. 19 p.

15. Basic Resources in Bioethics. KIEJ. Reprinted September 1991. 14 p. (Updated 1995)

14. Maternal-Fetal Conflict.  August 1990. 14 p.

13. The Aged and Resource Allocation. January 1990. 13 p.

12. Anencephalic Infants as Potential Organ Sources. June 1989. 11 p.

11. Neonatal Intensive Care. May 1989. 10 p.

10. In Vitro Fertilization. December 1988. 12 p.

9. Bioethics Audiovisuals. September 1988. 12 p.

8. AIDS. (with 1991 update). April 1988. 28 p.

7. Withholding or Withdrawing Nutrition or Hydration. Revised March 1992. 17 p.

6. Surrogate Motherhood. Revised January 1988. 11 p.

5. Baby Fae/Cross Species Organ Transplantation (Xenografting). January 1985. 19 p.

4. Diagnosis Related Groups (DRGs). June 1984. 11 p.

3. Ethics Committees in Hospitals. KIEJ. Reprinted September 1992. 17 p.

2. Living Wills and Durable Powers of Attorney. Revised April 1992. 19 p.

1. Dangerousness: Prediction and Legal Status. September 1982. 5 p.

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