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  • Editors' Note
  • James M. DuBois and Ana S. Iltis

Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics was established in the conviction that stories—whether they are told in the first person in narrative symposia, recounted in the form of case studies, or shared in the context of qualitative research—lead us to new insights about relationships, events, meaning, and behavior.

With the publication of this third issue of Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics, we complete volume 1 of the journal. The symposia published as part of the first volume have introduced readers to voices and experiences not often heard in the bioethics literature. Rarely do we encounter accounts of patient experiences written by patients. Rarely do we hear from physicians willing to offer their personal reflections on matters of professionalism, exposing themselves and their own histories for public consumption. Finally, we hear in this issue from certified nursing assistants, individuals who play an integral role in the lives of many people yet who rarely have an opportunity to recount what they see and what they understand about their patients' lives and situations. This first volume successfully captures the vision behind Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics. Our primary goal is to contribute rich and interesting data that re-humanizes ethical decision making, to help us understand that behind the "issues" in bioethics there are real people whose experiences and reflections are important and yet often not known, noticed or understood.

The case studies in this first volume foster an understanding of the human dimensions of complex health care situations. In this issue, the case study explores the difficulties, both legal and emotional of dealing with pre-emptive suicide in the population of healthy aging adults.

Finally, the results of qualitative and mixed methods studies published in the first volume demonstrate the ways in which qualitative research methods offer thick contextualized data that can raise awareness of considerations generally hidden from our view. This issue features an original research article on physicians' experiences of conflicts of conscience in their practice of medicine.


Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics would like to acknowledge the efforts and support of those who helped us get the entire journal project started and helped get the first volume completed. Dr. Steven Bander, of the BF Charitable Foundation, whose generous gift provided the funds necessary to start this journal and bring this first volume to completion; Jocelyn Streid for proofreading all the narratives for the first volume; and our generous colleagues at the Johns Hopkins University Press; our editorial board members, symposium editors, and contributors. We would also like to extend a special thanks to Genevieve "Jeni" Gipson, director of the board of trustees for the National Network of Career Nursing Assistants. Without her help Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics could not have put the present symposium together. [End Page v]



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