Call for Papers: ‘Complementary & Alternative Medicine’ (CAM)

Bioethics Journal—call for papers
Bioethics Journal—call for papers

‘Complementary & Alternative Medicine’ (CAM): Ethical and Policy Issues

Bioethics Special Issue
Guest Editors: Kevin R Smith, David Colquhoun, Edzard Ernst, Wallace Sampson


The Editors of Bioethics are pleased to announce a special issue in 2016 on the ethical and policy issues associated with ‘complementary & alternative medicine’ (CAM). CAM encompasses a wide range of claimed therapeutic modalities, including acupuncture, chiropractic, herbalism, homeopathy and osteopathy. CAM occupies a paradoxical position in modern medicine and healthcare: the plausibility and evidence base of many CAM treatments is very limited, and CAM approaches have been criticized and challenged by many scientists and physicians; despite this, some forms of CAM are manifestly popular among many lay people and a significant number of medical professionals. This raises fundamental ethical questions concerning the moral status of CAM.

We invite submissions on all aspects of this topic. Questions include but are not limited to:

  • What ethical considerations apply to the expenditure of public healthcare resources on CAM?
  • What are appropriate methodological paradigms for ethical debates concerning CAM?
  • Is it ethically acceptable to use CAM to treat non-competent adults such as those with dementia?
  • What is the moral status of practitioners who offer therapeutic advice considered implausible by mainstream medicine?
  • What ethical questions are raised by the use of CAM therapies to treat children?
  • Is it possible to have effective and ethical regulation of therapies for which plausibility or evidence of efficacy has not been established?
  • How should we interpret and respond to potential conflicts of interest for researchers in the domain of CAM?
  • What questions does CAM pose with regards to informed consent?
  • Are some CAM modalities more or less ethically acceptable than others?
  • What is the moral status of college and university programs in CAM?

The editors welcome early discussion of brief proposals and/or abstracts by email to:

Upon submission authors should include full contact details and a few lines of biographical information in a separate electronic file. We discourage papers of more than 5000 words.

For further submission requirements, format and referencing style, refer to the Author Guidelines on the Bioethics website:

Manuscripts should be submitted to Bioethics online at

Please ensure that you select manuscript type ‘Special Issue’ and state that it is for the CAM Special Issue when prompted.

Author: klynch618

I <3 the Humanities & life-long learning.

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