CFP: Neuroethics Special Issue

Concussion and mTBI: Ethical Issues

Guest Editors: Brad Partridge, Syd Johnson, Frédéric Gilbert


This special issue of Neuroethics will focus on concussion and mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI). Concussion/mTBI affects millions of individuals each year and the long term neurological effects of concussion are currently being debated. Concussion is a common injury among professional, amateur and youth athletes in many sports, and has also been called the “signature injury” of military personnel in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. This significant public health problem has received considerable attention in the popular press, and is an area of active research in the neurosciences, but is an underdeveloped area of neuroethical inquiry. Possible questions and topics for discussion include, but are not limited to:

  • What can/should neuroethics contribute to discussions about the diagnosis, treatment and management of concussion/mTBI in athletes or military personnel?
  • Ethical issues bearing upon physicians or other stakeholders in: implementing or facilitating return-to-play, or return to active duty preventing athletes from participating in high risk sports condoning risky sports with their presence (e.g. the ringside doctor at a boxing match).
  • Conflicts of interest for sporting leagues, concussion experts, and other stakeholders.
  • The team doctor or military physician as “company doctor.”
  • Research ethics and concussion/mTBI.
  • Ethical issues in the use of new technologies for diagnosing, treating or managing concussion/mTBI.
  • Consent and the disclosure of risk.
  • Preserving/protecting autonomy in the at-risk individual.
  • Risky sport participation and the rights of children and adolescents.
  • The ethical obligations of professional sporting leagues with high rates of concussion.

Contributions from stakeholders and multidisciplinary scholars are encouraged. The editors welcome early discussion of proposals and/or abstracts by email. Full papers are due by March 7, 2014. Manuscripts should be submitted to Neuroethics online at: using code “SI: concussion.” Manuscripts should be of a high quality and will be subject to the normal peer review process of Neuroethics. For submission requirements, format and referencing style, refer to the Author Guidelines at: