The journal has a strong emphasis on international and comparative trends in law and medicine, and the Editors welcome new papers that fall within the aims and scope of the journal.
This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).
From 2023 MLI is participating in a Subscribe to Open pilot, find out more here.
Medical Law International is an international peer reviewed journal that seeks to address new and emerging issues in medical law, medical and bioethics, and health governance around the world.
The journal is dedicated to addressing the following topics, which reflect the breadth and scope of medicine and healthcare generally:
- social, ethical and legal issues in reproductive medicine, including genetic testing and screening;
- social, ethical and legal issues in medical treatment, including cellular therapies;
- social, ethical and legal issues concerning mental health;
- social, ethical and legal issues concerning medical research, including cloning, tissue and data banking, and related topics;
- medical complaints and procedures and clinical negligence;
- development, regulation, use and misuse of drugs, medical devices and medical products;
- organ and tissue donation and transplantation;
- confidentiality and access to medical records;
- professional discipline;
- forensic medicine, determination of death, and end of life decisions;
- health matters affecting civil liberties and human rights; and
- legal issues within healthcare systems, including resource allocation.
Coverage includes matters of interest to academic lawyers, practicing lawyers, medical ethicists, bioethicists, healthcare professionals, healthcare and healthcare service administrators, and those studying aspects of medical law and ethics.
This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).
|Amel Alghrani||University of Liverpool, UK|
|Paula Case||University of Liverpool, UK|
|Marie B Fox||University of Liverpool, UK|
|Craig Purshouse||University of Liverpool, UK|
|Isra Black||UCL, UK|
|Elizabeth Chloe Romanis||Durham University, UK|
|Rita D'Alton-Harrison||Royal Holloway, UK|
|Sarah Devaney||University of Manchester, UK|
|Professor Mary Donnelly||University College Cork, Ireland|
|John Fanning||University of Liverpool, UK|
|Danielle Griffith||University of Liverpool, UK|
|John Harrington||Cardiff University, UK|
|Professor Jonathan Herring||Oxford University, UK|
|Graeme Laurie||University of Edinburgh, UK|
|Jaime Lindsey||University of Reading, UK|
|Sheelagh McGuinness||University of Bristol, UK|
|Jean McHale||University of Birmingham, UK|
|Professor Muireann Quigley||University of Birmingham, UK|
|Professor Keith Syrett||University of Bristol, UK|
|Kumaralingam Amirthalingam||National University of Singapore, Singapore|
|Professor Lawrence Gostin||Georgetown University, USA|
|Calvin Ho||National University of Singapore, Singapore|
|Rosario Isasi||University of Miami, USA|
|Yann Joly||McGill University, Canada|
|Andrea Mulligan||Trinity College Dublin, Ireland|
|Ubaka Ogbogu||University of Alberta, Canada|
|Barbara Prainsack||University of Vienna, Austria|
|Mark Taylor||University of Melbourne, Australia|
|Gemma Turton||University of Sydney, Australia|
This Journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics.
Please read the guidelines below then visit the Journal’s submission site http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/mli to upload your manuscript. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.
Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of Medical Law International will be reviewed.
From 2023 MLI is participating in a Subscribe to Open (S2O) pilot. S2O is an approach to converting subscription journals to open access (OA) which makes OA publishing available to everyone at no cost to the author. For more information please visit
There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this Journal. Open Access options are available - see section 3.3 below.
As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that you are submitting your original work, that you have the rights in the work, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you, that you are submitting the work for first publication in the Journal and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has not already been published elsewhere. Please see our guidelines on prior publication and note that Medical Law International may accept submissions of papers that have been posted on pre-print servers; please alert the Editorial Office when submitting (contact details are at the end of these guidelines) and include the DOI for the preprint in the designated field in the manuscript submission system. Authors should not post an updated version of their paper on the preprint server while it is being peer reviewed for possible publication in the journal. If the article is accepted for publication, the author may re-use their work according to the journal's author archiving policy.
- What do we publish?
1.1 Aims & Scope
1.2 Article types
1.3 Writing your paper
- Editorial policies
2.1 Peer review policy
2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests
2.6 Research ethics and patient consent
2.7 Clinical trials
2.8 Reporting guidelines
2.9 Research Data
- Publishing policies
3.1 Publication ethics
3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement
3.3 Open access and author archiving
- Preparing your manuscript
4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics
4.3 Supplemental material
4.4 Reference style
4.5 English language editing services
- Submitting your manuscript
5.2 Information required for completing your submission
- On acceptance and publication
6.1 Sage Production
6.2 Online First publication
6.3 Access to your published article
6.4 Promoting your article
- Further information
Before submitting your manuscript to Medical Law International, please ensure you have read the Aims & Scope.
Medical Law International publishes Papers up to 10,000 words and Book Reviews up to 2,000 words. A list of up-to-date books for review is available upon request from the Book Reviews Editor Dr Aisling McMahon (email@example.com). Please note that longer manuscripts may be considered, please contact the Editorial Office for further guidance.
Authors are invited to submit case or legislative comments that offer in-depth exploration of a topical aspect in the medical law field. They are brief, original works that analyse and remark on a recent policy development, legislative action, or judicial decision. This includes commentary on national or regional legislation and court decisions that may have international implications. Case/legislative comments will be internally peer reviewed. Maximum words: 3000-5000. Maximum figures and tables: 5. Maximum references: no limit.
Form of Manuscript: Papers should be set out as follows, with each section in a separate document: title page, abstract, main text, acknowledgements, references and notes, tables, captions to illustrations. Papers should preferably be written in 12-pt Times New Roman font and should be double spaced.
Title Page: The title page should give the following information: (1) title of the article (in bold), as short and informative as possible, without any abbreviation; (2) one first name, initials (if applicable) and last name of each author; (3) address of the department or institution to which the work should be attributed; (4) name, telephone, fax number and email address of the author responsible for correspondence and to whom the proof should be sent.
Abstract: This should consist of no more than 150 words summarising the contents of the article in a single paragraph. Please do not subdivide, e.g. Background, Aim, Results, Conclusion, or similar. It is important, especially for indexing services, that the abstract should be intelligible without reference to the full text or to literature references. The abstract must stand alone, and it should be presumed that the reader has some knowledge of the subject but has not read the paper. Except in the case of a standard abbreviation do not abbreviate a term when used only once. When used more than once, do abbreviate and define.
Main Text: This should be structured but without excessive use of sub-headings.
References and Notes: References should be provided as footnotes. For more information please see Section 4.4.
Keywords: Authors are requested to supply three to five keywords (words or phrases) in alphabetical order.
The Sage Author Gateway has some general advice and on how to get published, plus links to further resources. Sage Author Services also offers authors a variety of ways to improve and enhance their article including English language editing, plagiarism detection, and video abstract and infographic preparation.
1.3.1 Make your article discoverable
When writing up your paper, think about how you can make it discoverable. The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article through search engines such as Google. For information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords, have a look at this page on the Gateway: How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online.
Sage does not permit the use of author-suggested (recommended) reviewers at any stage of the submission process, be that through the web-based submission system or other communication. Reviewers should be experts in their fields and should be able to provide an objective assessment of the manuscript. Our policy is that reviewers should not be assigned to a paper if:
• The reviewer is based at the same institution as any of the co-authors
• The reviewer is based at the funding body of the paper
• The author has recommended the reviewer
• The reviewer has provided a personal (e.g. Gmail/Yahoo/Hotmail) email account and an institutional email account cannot be found after performing a basic Google search (name, department and institution).
Papers should only be submitted for consideration once consent is given by all contributing authors. Those submitting papers should carefully check that all those whose work contributed to the paper are acknowledged as contributing authors.
The list of authors should include all those who can legitimately claim authorship. This is all those who:
- Made a substantial contribution to the concept or design of the work; or acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data,
- Drafted the article or revised it critically for important intellectual content,
- Approved the version to be published,
- Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.
Authors should meet the conditions of all of the points above. When a large, multicentre group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript. These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship.
Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship, although all contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the Acknowledgments section. Please refer to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) authorship guidelines for more information on authorship.
Please note that AI chatbots, for example ChatGPT, should not be listed as authors. For more information see the policy on Use of ChatGPT and generative AI tools.
All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support.
2.3.1 Third party submissions
Where an individual who is not listed as an author submits a manuscript on behalf of the author(s), a statement must be included in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript and in the accompanying cover letter. The statements must:
- Disclose this type of editorial assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input
- Identify any entities that paid for this assistance
- Confirm that the listed authors have authorized the submission of their manuscript via third party and approved any statements or declarations, e.g. conflicting interests, funding, etc.
Where appropriate, Sage reserves the right to deny consideration to manuscripts submitted by a third party rather than by the authors themselves.
2.3.2 Writing assistance
Individuals who provided writing assistance, e.g. from a specialist communications company, do not qualify as authors and so should be included in the Acknowledgements section. Authors must disclose any writing assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input – and identify the entity that paid for this assistance”).
It is not necessary to disclose use of language polishing services.
Please supply any personal acknowledgements separately to the main text to facilitate anonymous peer review.
Medical Law International requires all authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading. Please visit the Funding Acknowledgements page on the Sage Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding, or state that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
It is the policy of Medical Law International to require a declaration of conflicting interests from all authors enabling a statement to be carried within the paginated pages of all published articles.
Please ensure that a ‘Declaration of Conflicting Interests’ statement is included at the end of your manuscript, after any acknowledgements and prior to the references. If no conflict exists, please state that ‘The Author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest’. For guidance on conflict of interest statements, please see the ICMJE recommendations here.
Medical research involving human subjects must be conducted according to the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki.
Submitted manuscripts should conform to the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, and all papers reporting animal and/or human studies must state in the methods section that the relevant Ethics Committee or Institutional Review Board provided (or waived) approval. Please ensure that you have provided the full name and institution of the review committee, in addition to the approval number.
For research articles, authors are also required to state in the methods section whether participants provided informed consent and whether the consent was written or verbal.
Information on informed consent to report individual cases or case series should be included in the manuscript text. A statement is required regarding whether written informed consent for patient information and images to be published was provided by the patient(s) or a legally authorized representative. Please do not submit the patient’s actual written informed consent with your article, as this in itself breaches the patient’s confidentiality. The Journal requests that you confirm to us, in writing, that you have obtained written informed consent but the written consent itself should be held by the authors/investigators themselves, for example in a patient’s hospital record. The confirmatory letter may be uploaded with your submission as a separate file.
Please also refer to the ICMJE Recommendations for the Protection of Research Participants
Medical Law International conforms to the ICMJE requirement that clinical trials are registered in a WHO-approved public trials registry at or before the time of first patient enrolment as a condition of consideration for publication. The trial registry name and URL, and registration number must be included at the end of the abstract.
The relevant EQUATOR Network reporting guidelines should be followed depending on the type of study. For example, all randomized controlled trials submitted for publication should include a completed CONSORT flow chart as a cited figure and the completed CONSORT checklist should be uploaded with your submission as a supplementary file. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses should include the completed PRISMA flow chart as a cited figure and the completed PRISMA checklist should be uploaded with your submission as a supplementary file. The EQUATOR wizard can help you identify the appropriate guideline.
Other resources can be found at NLM’s Research Reporting Guidelines and Initiatives.
2.9 Research Data
The journal is committed to facilitating openness, transparency and reproducibility of research, and has the following research data sharing policy. For more information, including FAQs please visit the Sage Research Data policy pages.
Subject to appropriate ethical and legal considerations, authors are encouraged to:
- share your research data in a relevant public data repository
- include a data availability statement linking to your data. If it is not possible to share your data, we encourage you to consider using the statement to explain why it cannot be shared.
- cite this data in your research
Sage is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the Sage Author Gateway.
Medical Law International and Sage take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.
3.1.2 Prior publication
If material has been previously published it is not generally acceptable for publication in a Sage journal. However, there are certain circumstances where previously published material can be considered for publication. Please refer to the guidance on the Sage Author Gateway or if in doubt, contact the Editor at the address given below.
Before publication, Sage requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. Sage’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants Sage the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than Sage. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit the Sage Author Gateway.
Medical Law International offers optional open access publishing via the Sage Choice programme and Open Access agreements, where authors can publish open access either discounted or free of charge depending on the agreement with Sage. Find out if your institution is participating by visiting Open Access Agreements at Sage. For more information on Open Access publishing options at Sage please visit Sage Open Access. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit Sage’s Author Archiving and Re-Use Guidelines and Publishing Policies.
The preferred format for your manuscript is Word. LaTeX files are also accepted. Word and (La)Tex templates are available on the Manuscript Submission Guidelines page of our Author Gateway.
For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit Sage’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines.
Figures supplied in colour will appear in colour online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. For specifically requested colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from Sage after receipt of your accepted article.
This journal is able to host additional materials online (e.g. datasets, podcasts, videos, images etc) alongside the full-text of the article. For more information please refer to our guidelines on submitting supplemental files.
References should be provided in footnotes in the following form:
(a) Book: Author, title (place of publication, publisher, date), volume number (in roman capital numerals), page reference.
eg Increase Mather, Life and Death of Richard Mather (Cambridge, Mass., 1969), pp.10-11.
subsequently: Mather, Richard Mather, p.12.
Book titles should have the initial letter of the principal words capitalized, eg Politics, Religion and the English Civil War, not Politics, religion and the English civil war.
(b) Edited text
eg Edward, Earl of Clarendon, History of the Rebellion ed. W.D.Macray (6 vols., Oxford, 1888) V, p.288.
subsequently: Clarendon, History V, p.384.
(c) Edited documents
eg S.R.Gardiner, ed., Constitutional Documents of the Puritan Revolution (Oxford, OUP, 1906), p.102.
subsequently: Gardiner, Constitutional Documents, p.114.
(d) Manuscript documents
eg Calendar of State Papers Domestic (CSPD) 1640, p.634.
subsequently: CSPD 1640, p.555.
(e) Journal articles: Author, ‘title’, journal, volume number (date), page references.
eg P.Roebuck, 'The Constables of Evingham', Recusant History, IX (1956), pp.75-7.
subsequently: Roebuck, 'Evingham', p.75.
(f) Collections of essays or articles: Author, ‘title of essay’, in editor, book title (place of publication, publisher, date), page reference.
eg K.Lindley, 'The Part Played by the Catholics', in Brian Manning, ed., Politics, Religion and the English Civil War(London, St. Martin’s Press, 1973), p.145.
subsequently: Lindley, 'Catholics', p.150.
(g) Legal cases. For citation of legal cases, these should be given in the usual form with the name of the case and its date in the text and a list of cases with their full citations in alphabetical order at the end of the article.
(h) For unpublished texts, please follow this pattern: Claude Kanaan, ‘The Historical Background to Twentieth Century Cultural Politics in the Lebanon’, unpublished PhD thesis, University of London, 1996, or Virginia Smith, ‘Grooming as Play’, unpublished conference paper, Social History Society conference, Leicester, January 4, 2003.
(i) For references to newspapers, give the title of the newspaper, followed by the date and the page number (if available): The Times, June 7, 1871, p. 10.
(j) For web references, use the following patterns. Where there is a title or collection involved: http://booth.lse.ac.uk/ Charles Booth and the survey into life and labour in London (1886-1903). Where the reference is simply to a website, use: http://www.ihr.sas.ac.uk, and give also the date of access.
The above system obviates the need for 'op.cit.', except in consecutive footnotes, e.g.
footnote 1: CSPD 1640, p.555.
footnote 2: Op. cit., p.123.
Please avoid other Latin or latinate terms, such as 'ibid.', 'loc. cit.' etc.
Please incorporate long notes into the main text where possible. Where authors wish to refer to more than one source at a particular point in the text, the sources should be combined into a single footnote - multiple footnotes at the same point in the text (e.g. 'perceptions of defensive practice may be far removed from the reality'123) should not be used.
Authors seeking assistance with English language editing, translation, or figure and manuscript formatting to fit the journal’s specifications should consider using Sage Language Services. Visit Sage Language Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.
Medical Law International is hosted on Sage Track, a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Visit http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/mli to login and submit your article online.
IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is likely that you will have had an account created. For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online please visit ScholarOne Online Help.
As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process Sage is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID provides a unique and persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher, even those who share the same name, and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities, ensuring that their work is recognized.
The collection of ORCID iDs from corresponding authors is now part of the submission process of this journal. If you already have an ORCID iD you will be asked to associate that to your submission during the online submission process. We also strongly encourage all co-authors to link their ORCID ID to their accounts in our online peer review platforms. It takes seconds to do: click the link when prompted, sign into your ORCID account and our systems are automatically updated. Your ORCID iD will become part of your accepted publication’s metadata, making your work attributable to you and only you. Your ORCID iD is published with your article so that fellow researchers reading your work can link to your ORCID profile and from there link to your other publications.
You will be asked to provide contact details and academic affiliations for all co-authors via the submission system and identify who is to be the corresponding author. These details must match what appears on your manuscript. The affiliation listed in the manuscript should be the institution where the research was conducted. If an author has moved to a new institution since completing the research, the new affiliation can be included in a manuscript note at the end of the paper. At this stage please ensure you have included all the required statements and declarations and uploaded any additional supplementary files (including reporting guidelines where relevant).
Please also ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Copyright and Permissions page on the Sage Author Gateway.
Your Sage Production Editor will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be made available to the corresponding author via our editing portal Sage Edit or by email, and corrections should be made directly or notified to us promptly. Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence and contact details are correct, and that Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate.
Online First allows final articles (completed and approved articles awaiting assignment to a future issue) to be published online prior to their inclusion in a journal issue, which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. Visit the Sage Journals help page for more details, including how to cite Online First articles.
Sage provides authors with online access to their final article.
Publication is not the end of the process! You can help disseminate your paper and ensure it is as widely read and cited as possible. The Sage Author Gateway has numerous resources to help you promote your work. Visit the Promote Your Article page on the Gateway for tips and advice.
Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to the Medical Law International editorial office as follows: