This narrative symposium examines the relationship of bioethics practice to personal experiences of illness. A call for stories was developed by Tod Chambers, the symposium editor, and editorial staff and was sent to several commonly used bioethics listservs and posted on the Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics website. The call asked authors to relate a personal story of being ill or caring for a person who is ill, and to describe how this affected how they think about bioethical questions and the practice of medicine. Eighteen individuals were invited to submit full stories based on review of their proposals. Twelve stories are published in this symposium, and six supplemental stories are published online only through Project MUSE. Authors explore themes of vulnerability, suffering, communication, voluntariness, cultural barriers, and flaws in local healthcare systems through stories about their own illnesses or about caring for children, partners, parents and grandparents. Commentary articles by Arthur Frank, Bradley Lewis, and Carol Taylor follow the collection of personal narratives.
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