Decolonizing Bioethics in Africa
AbstractÂ The global spread of bioethics from its North-American and European provenance to non-Western societies is currently raising some concerns. Part of the concern has to do with whether or not the exportation of bioethics in its full Western sense to developing non-Western states is an instance of ethical imperialism. This paper attempts an exploration of this debate in the context of bioethics in sub-Saharan Africa. Rather than conceding that bioethics has a colonial agenda in Africa, this paper defends the position that the current bioethics trend in sub-Saharan Africa is an unintended imperialistic project. It argues that its colonizing character is not entirely a product of the Western programmed goals of training and institution building; rather, it is a structural consequence of many receptive African minds and institutions. Though bioethics in Africa is turning out as a colonizing project, one serious implication of such trend, if unchecked urgently, is that bioethicsâ€™ invaluable relevance to Africa is being incapacitated. This paper, therefore, attempts a decolonizing trajectory of bioethics in Africa. Contrary to the pretense of â€˜African bioethics,â€™ which some African scholars are now defending, this paper through the logic of decolonization makes case for â€˜healthcare ethicsâ€™ in Africa. In such logic, the principle of existential needs is prioritized over the principle of identity and authenticity that define African voice in bioethics. Â Â
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