Recently, Dr. Yonghui Ma, from Center for Bioethics, Medical College of Xiamen University, has co-published an academic paper entitled “Ethical Issues in Fecal Microbiota Transplantation in Practice” as the first author and correspondence author in the world’s top ethics journal, American Journal of Bioethics (AJOB). AJOB has the highest impact factors (IF: 6.5) in ethics and ranked as the top 1 journal among 51 ethics journals internationally. Dr. Ma’s article is the first-ever paper from mainland China being published by this prestigious journal.
In medicine, Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has demonstrated efficacy and is increasingly being used in the treatment of patients with recurrent Clostridium difficile infection. Despite a lack of high-quality trials to provide more information on the long-term effects of FMT, there has been great enthusiasm about the potential for expanding its applications. However, FMT presents many serious ethical and social challenges that must be addressed as part of a successful regulatory policy response. In this article, she draw on a sample of the scientific and bioethics literatures to examine clusters of ethical and social issues arising in five main areas: (1) informed consent and the vulnerability of patients; (2) determining what a “suitable healthy donor” is; (3) safety and risk; (4) commercialization and potential exploitation of vulnerable patients; and (5) public health implications. AJOB has published Ma’s paper as Target Article, as well as eight Open Peer Commentaries (focused on Target Article) from leading bioethicists and clinicians from United States, UK, Canada and Australia in the same issue.
AJOB was founded in 1999 and leads the way in bioethics publishing since then. AJOB has followed through on the innovative vision that built bioethics: serious discussion of the social implications of biomedicine. 2016 Journal Citations Report® ranks The American Journal of Bioethics 1st out 17 journals in Medical Ethics (S), 1st out of 51 journals in Ethics (Ss), 1st out of 41 journals in Social Issues (Ss), and 1st out of 39 journals in Biomedical Social Sciences (Ss) with a 2015 Impact Factor of 6.500. AJOB published 12 issues each year, and every issue only contains two peer-reviewed Target Articles that focused on tough ethical challenges in biomedical science, along with several Open Commentary articles from scholars across disciplines and cultures.
Dr. Ma has a clinical medicine background and obtained her PhD on bioethics at The University of Manchester in the UK in 2013 funded by a full scholarship. She is now assistant professor on medical ethics/bioethics and also the Associate Director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics at Medical College, Xiamen University. Her research interests focus on genetic ethics, clinical ethics, ethics of new biomedical technology, cross-cultural bioethics. She has published on BMC Medical Ethics, Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, Asian Bioethics Review, Lancet, Experimental Dermatology, and some Chinese journals. She is currently the PI of a project (2016-2018) funded by Chinese National Social Science Foundation, and also PI of other provincial and university level projects.