Bioethics Education in Africa: Still Complex Challenges


In recent times, bioethics has emerged as a burgeoning interdisciplinary field of scholarly investigation which has in the past decades migrated from bedside consultations to public policy debates and wider cultural and social conversations that privilege all discourse about everyday life issues. Today, bioethics is increasingly seen as a field departing from a multidisciplinary perspective to an autonomous discipline. In most Western countries, the field is now more organized, complete with undergraduate minors and majors, and even high school courses in bioethics, master’s degrees and doctoral programs, and professional associations. Also, there is a shift from a field populated by bioethics pioneers to a field made up of bioethics professionals. However, in Africa the emergence and evolution of the field is still problematic as bioethics is not yet an escalating discipline in the tradition of books, journals, classroom teachings and conferences. In this paper, it is argued that the lack of an authentic discourse on the nature and contents of bioethics, interdisciplinary research approaches, institutional and infrastructural needs and a critical mass of African experts constitutes the major challenges to the teaching of bioethics in Africa. There is a need to reinvigorate standards for teaching bioethics through a radical critique of traditional values, principles, methods and a careful assessment of the new megatrends and challenges in science, technology and medicine.

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Andoh, C. (2013). Bioethics Education in Africa: Still Complex Challenges. Open Journal of Philosophy, 3, 507-516. doi: 10.4236/ojpp.2013.34073.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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