In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Editors’ Note
  • James M. DuBois, Ana S. Ilitis, and Susan G. DuBois

Readers who are familiar with our Narrative Symposia will find a few things are different with this one. We do not have an outside symposium editor for this issue. The editors, with the help of various experts, wrote the call for stories and invited the commentators. We are not always going to use this model, but we thought this was an important and timely topic and discovered this process enabled us to move forward expeditiously. We also invited five commentators—a record number for us—which allowed us to represent a broader diversity of stakeholder perspectives.

What effect does the American Medical Association’s decision to call obesity a disease have on health? The narrative symposium for this issue offers personal perspectives on the difficult topic of obesity. The five commentary articles that follow these stories consider insights, experiences, and questions offered by the story authors. The commentary authors come from diverse backgrounds—including obesity medicine, philosophy of medical diagnoses, advocacy, public health, and bioethics—and bring broad perspectives to this topic.

What role does morality play in the modern understanding of suicide? In the research article, “Stories Worth Telling: Moral Experiences of Suicidal Behavior,” Scott J. Fitzpatrick used narrative methodologies to examine the normative force of suicidology and its implications for persons who had engaged in an act of nonfatal suicidal behavior.

What do the efforts to follow hospital policy and procedures for “patients without surrogates” look like? In the case study, “Desperately Seeking a Surrogate—For a Patient Lacking Decision Making Capacity,” by Martin L. Smith and Catherine L. Luck, we get a glimpse into the real life application of such policies. They also offer four recommendations for organizations struggling with this issue.

Can we find a balance between a patient’s right to stop painful treatment and the physician’s role as a saver of lives? Ashley R. Hurst, Dea Mahanes, and Mary Faith Marshall explore this tension filled topic in their case study, “Dax’s Case Redux: When Comes the End of the Day?” They explore options to help reduce the physical and moral distress of both patient and physician.

What does a consistent, pragmatic policy for dealing with end of life care for undocumented immigrants look like? In the case study, “Undocumented at the End of Life,” Annette Mendola shows how one hospital dealt with the perfect storm of contentious issues—allocation of medical resources, end of life care, and immigration.

News about Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics

We aim to be the premier qualitative research journal in bioethics. As our readers know, in addition to Narrative Symposia and Case Studies, we publish Qualitative and Mixed Methods research articles. We offer authors of qualitative research articles at least three benefits:

  1. 1. Generous Word Limits. Articles may be up to 7,500 words in length—that’s double what many health science journals offer. So after publishing an abridged version of your work in that high impact medical journal that limited you to 2500 words, consider sending us a complete analysis [End Page v] of your project—exploring multiple themes with excerpts from interviews.

  2. 2. Expert Peer Reviewers. Our editorial board and list of peer reviewers include some leading qualitative researchers. If your submission is sent to peer review, you will receive useful feedback that will improve your article. Indexed in PubMed / MEDLINE. All of our articles are indexed in PubMed, ensuring that people will be able to find your work.

Please see Author Guidelines (section 2) for more information.

For a list of current Calls for Stories and Author Guidelines, please visit

Please consider supporting NIB: Amazon will now donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases when you shop ( Just type Foundation for Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics into the search bar when picking a charity. [End Page vi]



Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. v-vi
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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