About the Series

To promote research in the interdisciplinary field of bioethics, the Bioethics Research Library produced a series of 47 Scope Notes — annotated bibliographies with introductory essays — to provide a range of opinions on bioethical issues. They were not designed as a comprehensive review, but rather offered immediate reference to facts, opinion, and legal precedents (if applicable) for scholars, journalists, medical and legal practitioners, students, and other interested persons.

The Bioethics Scope Notes are available to individual researchers on the Bioethics Research Library website and at the Georgetown University Institutional Repository. Any redistribution or commercial use of these copyrighted works requires written permission of the Bioethics Research Library. Please note that, as of Scope Note 15, the series also appeared in the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal.

While the Scope Notes Archive is intended to provide a historical look at issues in Bioethics as they emerged, Scope Notes 17, 22, 24, and 28 were later updated in July 2011 as part of the Bioethics Research Library’s National Information Resource on Ethics and Human Genetics preservation project.

You may leave feedback regarding this collection at the Bioethics Research Library's Bioethical Issues: Scope Notes Archive page.

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Most Recent Submissions

  • AIDS (with 1991 update) 

    Pat Milmoe McCarrick (Bioethics Research Library, Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University, 1991-07)
    (Scope Note 8, AIDS: Law, Ethics and Public Policy, was published in April 1988. This updated bibliography was prepared at the National Reference Center for Bioethics Literature (NRC), and first appeared in RSR: Reference ...
  • Baby Fae/Cross Species Organ Transplantation (Xenografting) 

    Judith Mistichelli (Bioethics Research Library, Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University, 1985-01)
    On October 26, 1984, Dr. Leonard L. Bailey and his associates at the Loma Linda University Medical Center in California implanted a heart from a seven- month-old baboon in a human infant born with hypoplastic left ...
  • Pharmacists and Conscientious Objection 

    Staff (Bioethics Research Library, Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University, 2006-12)
    In March 2005, a Wisconsin pharmacist’s act of conscience garnered headlines across the United States. After a married woman with four children submitted a prescription for the morning-after pill, the pharmacist, Neil ...
  • Withholding or Withdrawing Nutrition or Hydration 

    Pat Milmoe McCarrick (Bioethics Research Library, Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University, 1992-01)
    (Scope Note 7, first published in November 1986, was last revised in 1988. Material published in the past few years has been added to this update.) Current medical technologies allow more people than ever before to survive ...
  • Surrogate Motherhood 

    Sue A. Meinke (Bioethics Research Library, Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University, 1988-01)
    (SCOPE NOTE 6, "Surrogate Motherhood: Ethical and Legal Issues,” written in August 1984 has been revised and updated, since much new material is available. The highly publicized Baby M case renewed public interest in ...

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