The Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, published since 1993 by the Forum for Medical Ethics Society, is a multi-disciplinary academic journal providing a platform for publication of original material and discussion on all aspects of bioethics, healthcare ethics and the humanities.

Aim and scope: Multi-disciplinary inquiry

The journal promotes multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural inquiry in the fields of health and healthcare by academics as well as activists from disciplines such as bio-medicine, public health, ethics, philosophy, social sciences, law, history, etc., and also creative expressions in art and literature. It strives to involve all cadres and beneficiaries of the healthcare system, and strengthen the hands of those with ethical values and concern for the under-privileged.

Peer-reviewed and Indexed material 

All material submitted for publication in the journal, goes through a rigorous peer and editorial review by experts, and revisions when needed, before receiving approval for publication. In 2005, the US National Library of Medicine (MEDLINE/PubMed) decided to index all previous issues (starting from the first issue in 1993) and also started prospective indexing of IJME. In addition to PubMed, IJME is also indexed in a few other international databases, such as Scopus, The Philosophers Index (TPI), etc.


After peer and editorial review when a submission is approved for publication by the editor, it is considered for the earliest possible “Online First” publication. The Online First and other approved submissions are then published in the four quarterly issues of IJME every January, April, July and October.

Print and pdf issue subscription system

In 1993, IJME was started on the classical print journal model, with no payment from authors, while readers accessed the print copy by paying a subscription. This system still continues for access to copies of print issues and the soft copies of full issues.

Open access online

All material published in IJME, since 1993, is available open access on the journal’s website (www.ijme.in). As a policy, authors are NOT required to pay any mandatory article processing charge (APC) or publication fee and readers are not charged for access to any material. However, we have a voluntary payment system for authors and readers.

Voluntary payment system for authors and readers

In order to sustain the journal financially, there is a system of voluntary payment by authors and readers, on the PayWhatYouWant (PWYW) model. Accordingly, authors and readers are requested to make payments of whatever amount they can afford (including no payment) for publication of articles or for full text views and PDF download of articles. Essentially, IJME does not allow any financial barrier to stop authors from publishing and readers from accessing public material but at the same time, encourages voluntary payment from those who can afford to pay.

Appeal for financial support

IJME does not have institutional support and funding, and is run by a group of volunteers and a small part/full-time paid staff. It is also committed to maintaining editorial independence from the publisher and avoiding financial dependence on commercial sources that could create conflicts of interest. In addition, we are striving to keep IJME’s online content free and open-access.

Therefore, IJME needs support through donations, grants and advertisements from individuals and non-profit foundations. Donations/grants are solicited only from Indian individuals and entities as Indian laws do not permit a journal to receive donations/grants from foreign sources.

However, foreign as well as Indian readers/authors may wish to support the journal by voluntary payment of fees in different ways, such as:
    a) By paying or gifting subscriptions of the print or soft PDF copies of the journal;
    b) By paying a fee of any amount for full-text views or PDF download of any article from the IJME website;
    c) By paying article processing charges of any amount on publication, which is affordable to readers/authors;
    d) By placing advertisements in designated spaces on the website for a specified period and in print issues of the journal. However, we do not accept advertisements from the      pharmaceutical/medical device, armament, alcohol and tobacco industries. The advertisement rates and guidelines are available here.
About the Publisher: Forum for Medical Ethics Society (FMES)

The FMES is a not-for-profit society of individuals interested in bioethics, healthcare ethics and healthcare humanities. It is registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and the Bombay Public Trusts Act, 1950. Donations are eligible for tax exemption under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act, 1961. More information on the FMES and its other activities is available here. For more details on how to support us, write to [email protected] or [email protected]



The Beginning

The processes that led to the launch of the journal and the formation of the society interested in bioethics and healthcare ethics began in the latter part of the 1980s when the mainstream organisations of medical professionals vociferously opposed any accountability to society (a response to the Consumer Protection Act of 1986) and refused to take any action on growing reports of corruption and malpractice in medical care. From 1989 onwards, some medical professionals with a background of activism in the junior doctors’ association (MARD: Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors), Bombay Group of Medico Friends Circle (a nationwide socially conscious doctors’ group, active since the early 1970s), consumer activists (ACASH: Association of Consumer Action for Safety and Health) and doctors from the public hospitals in Bombay (now Mumbai) started meeting regularly at the KEM Hospital/GS Medical College, a public institute in Mumbai.

After meetings and seminars, in 1992 they decided to challenge the established interests of the medical profession by contesting elections of the Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC). Eight doctors known for their eminence in ethical practice and concern for the public health system established a panel on the platform of the Forum for Medical Ethics (FME) in the elections. By sending out a letter to all doctors in Maharashtra and by using the media for creating public awareness on the role and responsibilities of the Medical Councils, the FME strove to bring the implementation of medical ethics to the centre of the debate in the election. The FME ensured that votes for the members of its panel were voluntarily sent through mail by each voter on his/her own in the postal ballot system used for the elections at that time.

The group also witnessed massive rigging of the elections by the candidate-doctors supported by money power and politics. The electoral malpractices were documented in detail by the group and presented to the Mumbai High Court in a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) and also widely disseminated through the first newsletter, entitled “Medical Ethics”, published in August 1993.

Struggle for legal registration and changes in the title of journal

The newsletter, Medical Ethics found wider support from the profession and the public, and was brought out every three months, and its scope was gradually expanded. After the publication of four issues of the newsletter and with increasing support, the group felt confident to convert the newsletter into a journal. It applied for registration of the title with the authorities in India. But instead of getting its preferred title of Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, it was allotted the title Issues in Medical Ethics. Thus, after publishing 10 issues under the name Medical Ethics, from 1996 it was published under the name Issues in Medical Ethics

After publishing as Issues in Medical Ethics for eight years (32 issues), the registrar of newspaper allotted the journal its preferred title, Indian Journal of Medical Ethics (IJME). So, since 2004 the journal has been published as IJME. However, our travails legal registration did not end there. After we brought out the IJME for 12 years (48 issues) — 2004 to 2015 — we discovered that our registration of 2004 was incomplete, and we were asked to restart the journal as a new one under the same title. Therefore, from 2016 we started the IJME as New Series. Thankfully, we are now assured that the registration is complete.

Expansion in the scope of the journal

As a journal of medical ethics, it began with a focus on the medical profession and medical care, with doctors as the main contributors. However, over the years, IJME has made a conscious transition by having contributors from multiple disciplines and extending its range to a journal of bioethics, healthcare ethics, and health and humanities.

Past Editors of the IJME

Since its inception in 1993, the following have served with dedication as the editors of the journal:

    Sunil K. Pandya                           (1993-99)
    Arun Bal                                        (2000-02)
    Samiran Nundy                            (2003-04)
    Sanjay A. Pai (Acting Editor)     (2005)
    George Thomas                           (2005-2011)


Editorial Team

Editor Emeritus
Sunil K. Pandya, Mumbai
Consulting Editor
Sandhya Srinivasan, Mumbai
Editorial Consultant
Meenakshi D’cruz, Mumbai, [email protected]

Editorial Coordinator
Georgiaria Fernandes, Mumbai, [email protected]

Editorial correspondence, [email protected]

Subscription and administration, [email protected]

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