Bioethics in Africa: Theories and Praxis

Yaw A. Frimpong-Mansoh, Caesar A. Atuire (Eds.)

by Yaw A. Frimpong-Mansoh (Northern Kentucky University, USA), Caesar A. Atuire (University of Ghana, Ghana), Thaddeus Metz (University of Johannesburg, ZA), Martin Ajei (University of Ghana, Ghana), Nancy O. Myles (University of Ghana, Ghana), Camillia Kong (University of Oxford), Rose Mary Amenga-Etego (University of Ghana, Ghana), Augustina Naami (University of Ghana, Ghana), Akis Afoko (University for Development Studies, Ghana), Godfrey B. Tangwa (University of Yaounde 1, Cameroon)

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Bioethics urges us to question and debate fundamental moral issues that arise in health-related sciences. However, as a result of Western dominance and globalization, bioethical thinking and practice has inevitably been shaped and defined by Western theories. With recent discussions centering on the relationship between culture and bioethics, it is important to consider how and to what extent can bioethics reflect and accommodate non-Western values and beliefs? Debatably, many scholars working in the field of ‘African bioethics’ seek to construct a bioethical practice that is grounded in indigenous African values. Yet, how relevant are ancient African cultural norms to the lives and realities of the 21st century Sub-Saharan-Africans?
This edited volume explores bioethics in Africa from pluralistic and inter-cultural perspectives. The selected papers offer diverse theoretical and practical perspectives on the bioethical challenges that are common and specific to the lives of Sub-Sahara Africans. The contributors define bioethics broadly (beyond ethical issues relating to biomedical and biotechnological science) to include applied ethics that concern all aspects of life. Multidisciplinary in approach, the contributions to this book consider bioethics in relation to philosophy, social work, psychiatry, African studies, religious studies, psychology, and medicine. The broad scope of this volume means it will be of interest to those studying and working in bioethics as well as the fields mentioned above.

List of Contributors
Chapter 1 A Prolegomon to Bioethics in Africa: Issues, Challenges and Commonsensical Recommendations
Caesar A. Atuire
University of Ghana
Chapter 2 Bioethics: Traditional African Perspective
Yaw A. Frimpong-Mansoh
Northern Kentucky University
Chapter 3 Ancillary Care Obligations in the Light of an African Bioethic
Thaddeus Metz
University of Johannesburg
Chapter 4 Personhood, Autonomy and Informed Consent
Martin Ajei
University of Ghana
Nancy O. Myles
University of Ghana
Chapter 5 Cultural Translation, Human Meaning, and Genes: Why Interpretation Matters in Psychiatric Genomics
Camillia Kong
University of Oxford
Chapter 6 The Practice of Traditional Medicine and Bioethical Challenges
Rose Mary Amenga-Etego
University of Ghana
Chapter 7 Ethical Concerns Regarding Right of People Living with Disabilities in Ghana
Augustina Naami
University of Ghana
Chapter 8 Bioethical Challenges in Medical Practice in Ghana: Past, Present, Future
Akis Afoko
University of Development Studies; Tamale Teaching Hospital
Chapter 9 Bioethics, Nature, the Environment and Climate Change in Africa
Godfrey B. Tangwa
University of Yaoundé

Yaw A. Frimpong-Mansoh holds a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Alberta, Canada. He is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Program Coordinator at the Northern Kentucky University. Frimpong-Mansoh has authored several journal articles including ‘Culture and Voluntary Informed Consent in African Healthcare Systems’ (in Developing World Bioethics) and ‘Repentance and Change of Character Excuse Wrongdoing?’ (in International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society). He also presented a paper at the 2015 conference ‘Giving a voice to African thought in medical research ethics’ at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. His research interests include healthcare ethics/ bioethics, social and political philosophy, ethics (theory and applied) and African philosophy.

Caesar A. Atuire holds a PhD in Philosophy from the Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum, Rome. He is a Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy and Classics at the University of Ghana, Legon. Atuire has authored several publications including Leaping the bounds of the Elysian Fields: an anthropological inquiry concerning suicide (2005), Understanding the Christian Faith (2017), a book chapter in the edited volume Futuro Ignoto: Conversazioni sulla nuova era digitale (2014), a paper in African Studies Quarterly, ‘Pursuing Nation Building within Multi-Partisan Fragmentation: The Case of Ghana. In the summer of 2018, he was AfOx Visiting Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford University, where he presented lectures on bioethics at the Ethox Centre and at NeuroGene. His research interests include bioethics, intercultural and interreligious dialogue and philosophical anthropology.

Health, care, healing, medicine, biomedicine, biotechnology, genetic, ethics, philosophy, morality, moral values, culture, beliefs, practices, community, right, abuses, exploitations, religion, spirituality, traditions

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Bibliographic Information

Book Title

Bioethics in Africa: Theories and Praxis





Number of pages


Physical size

236mm x 160mm


1 B&W

Publication date

April 2019