Call for papers on Criminalizing Contagion

The BMJ Group journals Sexually Transmitted Infections (impact factor 3.029) and the Journal of Medical Ethics (impact factor 1.391), in conjunction with academics at the Centre for Social Ethics and Policy (University of Manchester) and the Health Ethics and Law Network (University of Southampton), would like to publish a collection of articles on the criminalization of disease and sexually transmitted infections. We invite article contributions to be published as part of this themed collection.[1]


The use of criminal law to respond to infectious disease transmission has far-reaching implications for law, policy and practice. It presupposes co-operation between clinicians and criminal justice professionals, and that people who infect others can be effectively and fairly identified and brought to justice. There is a potentially difficult relationship between criminal justice and public health bodies, whose priorities do not necessarily coincide. We are interested in receiving papers of broad interest to an international readership of medical ethics scholars and practicing clinicians on any of the following topics:

  • Legislative and policy reform on disease and sexually transmitted infections
  • Health services and the police: privacy, state interference and human rights
  • Evidence and ethics: prosecuting ‘infectious’ personal behaviours
  • Clinicians and the courts: the role of health professionals and criminal justice
  • The aims of criminalization and public health: a compatibility problem?
  • International comparative studies on disease and criminalization: policy, practice and legal issues


1. Up to eight articles will published in a special section in an issue of Sexually Transmitted Infections in 2013.

2. Two articles will be published in a special section in an issue of Journal of Medical Ethics in 2013.

All articles will be blind peer reviewed according to each individual journal’s editorial policies. Final publication decisions will rest with the Editors in Chief: Professor Jackie Cassell (STI) and Professor Julian Savulescu (JME).

Important Dates

Please submit your article to either journal no later than December 14th 2012.

Submission Instructions

For Sexually Transmitted Infections:

Articles for STI should be a maximum of 2,500 words and submitted via the journal’s website: Please choose the special issue ‘Criminalizing Contagion’ during the submission process.

For Journal of Medical Ethics:

Articles for JME should be a maximum of 3,500 words, and submitted via the journal’s website: Please choose the special issue ‘Criminalizing Contagion’ during the submission process.

Further submission instructions are on the journals’ respective websites. If you would like to discuss any aspect of your submission, including possible topics and the journals involved, please contact the guest editors in the first instance: Dr David Gurnham (, Dr Catherine Stanton ( or Dr Hannah Quirk (

[1] Some of the contributors may also be invited to present their papers at one of three sessions of a proposed ESRC seminar series on the same topic, to be organised by the guest editors. If funding for the seminar series is awarded by the ESRC (in April 2012), they will take place in winter 2012/13 and summer 2013 (Southampton), and winter 2013/14 and summer 2014 (Manchester).

(Visited 114 times, 1 visits today)