Biomedical Ethics Reviews is an annual publication designed to review and update the literature on issues of central importance in bioethics today. Ordinarily, more than one topic is discussed in each volume of Biomedical Ethics Reviews. This year, however, we have decided to devote the entire volume of Biomedical Ethics Reviews: 1988 to disussion of one topic, namely, AIDS. The ra tionale for this decision should be clear: AIDS is arguably the most serious public health threat facing our nation today, and the char acter of the disease is such that it creates special problems for ethicists, philosophers, theologians, educators, jurists, health care professionals, and politicians. Indeed, the questions that AIDS gives rise to are so numerous and complex that no one text could hope to treat them exhaustively. Still, if it is impossible, in anyone text, to deal with all of the perplexing difficulties that AIDS generates, it nevertheless remains true that each addition to the AIDS literature contributes to our collective knowledge, and in so doing, brings us one step closer to resolving at least some of the problems associated with the disease. We believe that the articles included in the present volume of Biomedical Ethics Reviews serve this purpose admirably, and we hope the reader will agree. James M. Humber Robert F. Almeder vii Contributors Ronald Carson • Medical Humanities Institute, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas David J.