Academic journal article The Hastings Center Report

Best-Laid Editorial Plans

Academic journal article The Hastings Center Report

Best-Laid Editorial Plans

Article excerpt

Last year, in this space, I wrote that I looked forward to compiling the index for the 2008 volume of the Hastings Center Report. Perhaps I overstated the matter, but all the same, it was interesting, once again, to get a birds' eye perspective of what ended up appearing in these pages. I had offered, last year, a few comments about what I hoped to see in our pages. Of course, my influence over what we publish is limited. What we end up with depends partly on what people send in and on what other people say about what they send in: we do not solicit articles, and we put all articles through blind peer review before bringing them to our editorial committee; many essays also come in over the transom and undergo blind outside review. Nonetheless, I hoped to encourage submissions and begin to generate essays and columns on certain topics.

So how did my wish list pan out? As I had hoped, we published somewhat less this year about the field of bioethics itself. The focus seems to have shifted from what bioethicists think and how they work to the issues that they think about and work on. In particular, we featured more about medical interventions and medical practice, including newborn screening, electronic medical records, physicians' work hours, options for care at the end of life, and organ transplantation. Also as I had hoped, these pieces sought to set out recommendations for practice, where feasible. We also published an article on stem cell research that had a practical focus; it considered whether research on the current NIH-approved cell lines adhered to appropriate standards for informed consent. …

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