CFP: Phenomenologies of Care: Patients, Caregivers, and Narratives

Submission deadline: May 1, 2023

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Call for Papers: Clinical Ethics Special Issue on Phenomenologies of Care:  Patients, Caregivers, and Narratives (Deadline for Submissions: 1 May 2023)

Guest Editors: Jenny Krutzinna and Anna Gotlib


Clinical Ethics invites contributions for a special issue on “Phenomenologies of Care: Patients, Caregivers, and Narratives”. The special issue will be published in December 2023.


Among the numerous empirical, sociopolitical, and ethical analyses of clinical caregiving practices, what is often missing are the phenomenological narratives—those that express, are based on, or that explore the ethical, epistemic, or practical implications of, the individual “lived” experiences of caregivers and the cared-for. Yet, without these narratives, it can be difficult (if not impossible) to know whether or to what extent principles, guidelines, protocols, and policies for clinical action and justification capture and respond to actual patient and practitioner experiences. Narratives of the phenomenologies of care are a means of addressing this uncertainty, clarifying what has been epistemically, morally, or practically missed by non-narrative approaches to patient care, and developing approaches to fill these gaps.

Contributions to this special issue may seek to address, but are not limited to, the following questions:

·       What are “phenomenologies of care”? (e.g., What is it like to be a patient, doctor, or caregiver, and why are these lived experiences epistemically, ethically, or clinically valuable? Which or whose narratives are currently missing and why are they important for clinical practice or health policy? What do narratives tell us about the experience of illness and of being a patient and what normative role should they perform in clinical ethics or health policy? What are the limits and limitations of phenomenological narratives in healthcare?)

·       How can existing healthcare systems encourage a more patient-centered phenomenological approach to the practice of medicine/care? (e.g., How can medical education become more patient-centric? Should we redefine our understanding of successful healthcare outcomes? How do we balance the need for clinical objectivity with individual care needs?)

·       What do phenomenological accounts mean for clinical ethics? (e.g., In what ways do phenomenological approaches challenge standard conceptions of patient autonomy, benefits, risks, or the patient-doctor relationship? How does the experience of illness and of being a patient influence healthcare outcomes? What are the caregiving implications of patients’ lived experiences? How can a narrative-based approach to clinical ethics improve medicine?)

·       What obstacles stand in the way of more narrative approaches to clinical care and how might these be addressed? (e.g., How does professional education and training currently preclude narrative approaches to care? How does the absence of diverse narratives affect clinical practice? How should narrative approaches be incorporated in policymaking?)

·       What similarities and conflicts do we see in cross-cultural approaches to care? (e.g., What happens in cases of cultural conflict in a medical setting? What can we learn from non-Western conceptions of care? What can we learn from other care-giving professions?)

Submissions should be approximately 3000-4500 words (plus references and up to five relevant tables or images), though the editors are happy to consider manuscripts outside of this limit. Submissions should be prepared for blind review in accordance with the journal’s submission guidelines. Contributions can also be in the form of personal narratives as long as they incorporate some normative (i.e., ethical, legal, or biomedical) analysis and are not just descriptive.

Please submit manuscripts via the Clinical Ethics submission site by 1 May 2023, making sure to include a separate cover page indicating that the submission is for the Special Issue, with details of author name(s), affiliation(s), ORCID(s) and contact information.

Submissions will be peer reviewed, and authors will be informed about the outcome by 1 July 2023.

For questions concerning the special issue, please contact Jenny Krutzinna ([email protected]) or Anna Gotlib ([email protected]).

For general queries about Clinical Ethics, please contact Jonathan Lewis ([email protected]).

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