CFP: Bodily Integrity and Bodily Autonomy in Pediatric Populations

Submission deadline: October 1, 2022

Topic areas


Guest Editors

Dr. Brian D. Earp
University of Oxford, UK
[email protected]  

Dr. Kate Goldie Townsend 
University of Exeter, UK
[email protected]  


The right to bodily autonomy is normally analyzed in terms of an adult's right to give or withhold consent to certain infringements into, or uses of, their body. Pre-autonomous children, by contrast, are typically thought not to be capable of giving or withholding their own informed consent, and so other standards - such as "best interests" (as judged by the parent) are thought to apply. However, might children also have a right to bodily autonomy, or perhaps to having their future right to bodily autonomy preserved? Or does a different concept apply -- perhaps a right to bodily integrity, which does not rest on having decision-making capacity? How might such rights be conceptualized? When should younger children be protected from certain bodily infringements to which they cannot consent, and when should older children be allowed to choose certain body modifications for themselves?

Submissions should take a global lens and consider practices in both the Global North and Global South.

Potential Topics list:

  • The right to bodily integrity and/or bodily autonomy in pediatric populations (Does it exist? What does it consist of? When is it violated?)

  • Analysis of the concept and ethics of medical consent for mature minors

  • Bodily integrity, bodily autonomy, and pediatric disability

  • Medical and non-medical conceptions of childhood 

  • Ethics of cultural or religious body modifications in minors 

  • Ethics of "cosmetic" procedures for children (including ear-piercing)

  • Ethics of gender-related body modifications in minors 

  • Ethics of intersex genital surgeries and debates about medical necessity

  • Ethics of cochlear implants for deaf children

  • Ethics of birth control and abortion access for minors

The submitted manuscripts for this Special Collection will be peer-reviewed before publication.

An article processing charge may apply upon acceptance of your paper.

Submit your paper.

Please submit your paper according to the following timetable for the Special Collection:

Submission Deadline

October 01, 2022

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