Review Paper

What Is “African Bioethics” as Used by Sub-Saharan African Authors: An Argumentative Literature Review of Articles on African Bioethics

Full-Text HTML XML Download Download as PDF (Size:410KB) PP. 31-47
DOI: 10.4236/ojpp.2017.71003    424 Downloads   549 Views  


The term “African bioethics” is more often used by some Sub-Saharan African (SSA) authors to denote an African framework of resolving pertinent moral dilemmas arising in the interface of human persons with biomedical sciences, as juxtaposed against what is deemed “Western bioethics paradigms/theories, considered otherwise as a form of “moral/ethical imperialism”; and considered foreign to SSA tradition(s). This article is a literature review of articles on African bioethics to clarify what actually is meant epistemologically by African bioethics vis a vis, Western bioethics, as well as ascertain whether African bioethics as used by SSA authors is wishful thinking, yet to be realised in actuality.

Cite this paper

Coleman, A. (2017) What Is “African Bioethics” as Used by Sub-Saharan African Authors: An Argumentative Literature Review of Articles on African Bioethics. Open Journal of Philosophy, 7, 31-47. doi: 10.4236/ojpp.2017.71003.


[1] Andoh, C. T. (2011). Bioethics the Challenge to Its Growth in Africa. Open Journal of Philosophy, 1, 67-75.
[2] Andoh, C. T. (2013). Bioethics Education in Africa: Still Complex Challenges. Open Journal of Philosophy, 3, 507-516.
[3] Asante, M. K. (2007). Afrocentricity, the Theory of Social Change. Chichago: African World Press.
[4] Awajiusuk, F. J. (2014). Reflections on African Ethics: A Case for Cultural Relativism. Ciencias da Religiao: Historia e Scoiedade. Sao Paulo, 12, 35-55.
[5] Azetsop, J. (2011). New Directions in African Bioethics: Ways of Including Public Health Concerns in the Bioethics Agenda. Developing World Bioethics, 1, 4-15.
[6] Beauchamp, T. L., & Childress, J. F. (2013). Principles of Biomedical Ethics. New York: Oxford University Press Inc.
[7] Behrens, K. G. (2013). Towards an Indigenous African Bioethics. SAJBL, 6, 32-35.
[8] Bodurin, P. O. (1981). The Question of African Philosophy. Philosophy, LVI, 169.
[9] Brink, J. G., & Hassoulos, J. (2009). The First Human Heart and Further Advances in Cardiac Transplantation at Groote Schuur Hospital and the University of Cape Town. Cardiovascular Journal of Africa, 20, 31-35.
[10] Callahan, D. (2003). Principlism and Communitarianism. Journal of Medical Ethics, 29, 287-291.
[11] Chukwuneke, F. N., Umeora, O. U. J., Maduabuchi, J. U., & Egbunike, J. (2014). Global Bioethics in a Pluralistic: How Does Culture Influence Bioethics in Africa. Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research, 4, 672-675.
[12] Fayemi, A. K., & Akintunde, F. A. (2012). On the Myth Called “African Bioethics”: Further Reflections on Segun Gbadegesin’s Reflection. Bangladeshi Journal of Bioethics, 3, 4-11.
[13] Fayemi, A. K. (2015). African Bioethics versus Healthcare Ethics in Africa: A Critique of Godfrey Tangwa. Developing World Bioethics, 16, 98-106.
[14] Gbadegesin, S. (1993). Bioethics and Culture: An African Perspective. Bioethics, 7, 257-259.
[15] Griffith, E. E. (2005). Personal Narrative and an African-American Perspective on Medical Ethics. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 33, 371-381.
[16] Hellstern, S. K. (2010). Empowering Invisible Women. Women, Local Culture and Global Human Rights Protection. Thought and Practice, 2, 37-57.
[17] Hountondji, P. J. (1983). African Philosophy, Myth and Reality (p. 53). Evans, H., Trans., Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
[18] Kushe, H., & Singer, P. (2009). What Is Bioethics? A Historical Introduction. In H. Kushe, & P. Singer (Eds.), A Companion to Bioethics (pp. 3-11). Malden: Blackwell Publishing.
[19] Maina, W. M. (2008). African Communitarian Ethics in the Theological Work of Benezet Bujo. Pacifica, 21, 192-209.
[20] Mbiti, J. S. (1969). African Religions and Philosophy (pp. 108-109). Nairobi: East African Educational Publishers Ltd.
[21] Mbugua, K. (2008). Is There an African Bioethics. In Proceedings on the International Conference on Bioethics.
[22] McCullough, L. B., Coverdale, J. H., & Chervanak, F. A. (2004). Argument Based Medical Ethics. A Formal Tool Critically Appraising the Normative Medical Literature. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 191, 1097-1102.
[23] Metz, J. (2010). African and Western Moral Theories in a Bioethical Context. Developing World Bioethics, 10, 49-58.
[24] Murove, M. (2005). African Bioethics: An Exploratory Discourse. Journal for the Study of Religion, 18, 16-36.
[25] Ogundiran, T. O. (2004). Enhancing the African Bioethics Initiative. BMC Medical Education, 4, 21.
[26] Ola, T. M. (2012). Assisted Reproductive Technology in Nigeria: Flawed or Favoured. International Journal of Science and Humanity, 2, 331-334.
[27] Onouha, C. (2007). Bioethics across Borders: An African Perspective (pp. 1-342). Upssala Studies in Social Science.
[28] Pessini, L. (2013). At the Origins of Bioethics: Potter’s Bioethical Creed Jahr’s Bioethical Imperative [As origens da bioetica: Do credo bioetico de Potter ao imperative bioetico de Fritz Jahr]. Revista Bioética, 21, 9-18.
[29] Potter, V. R. (1970). Bioethics, Science of Survival. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 14, 127-153.
[30] Reich, W. T. (1995). The Word “Bioethics”: Its Birth and the Legacies of Those Who Shaped It. Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, 5, 19-34.
[31] Tangwa, G. B. (1996). Bioethics: An African Perspective. Bioethics, 10, 183-200.
[32] Tangwa, G. B. (2010). Elements of African Bioethics in a Western Frame (pp. 14-27). Bamenda: Langa Research & Publishing.
[33] Tronto, J. (2001). An Ethic of Care. In M. Holstein, & P. Mitzen (Eds.), Ethics in Community-Based Elder Care (pp. 60-68). New York: Springer.
[34] Tutu, D. (1999). No Future without Forgiveness. New York: Random House.
[35] Wiredu, K. (1980). Philosophy and an African Culture: The Case of the Akan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
[36] White, S. L., Hirth, R., Mahillo, B., Dominguez-Gil, B., Delmonico, F.L., Chapman, J. et al. (2014). The Global Diffusion of Organ Transplant: Trends, Drivers and Policy Implications. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 92, 826-835. 14.137653.pdf

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2017 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.