AN AFRICAN THEORY OF BIOETHICS: REPLY TO MACPHERSON AND MACKLIN

Authors


  • Conflict of interest statement: No conflicts declared

Thaddeus Metz, University of Johannesburg – Philosophy, P.O. Box 524, Auckland Park, 2006, South Africa. Email: tmetz@uj.ac.za

ABSTRACT

In a prior issue of Developing World Bioethics, Cheryl Macpherson and Ruth Macklin critically engaged with an article of mine, where I articulated a moral theory grounded on indigenous values salient in the sub-Saharan region, and then applied it to four major issues in bioethics, comparing and contrasting its implications with those of the dominant Western moral theories, utilitarianism and Kantianism. In response to my essay, Macpherson and Macklin have posed questions about: whether philosophical justifications are something with which bioethicists ought to be concerned; why something counts as ‘African’; how medicine is a moral enterprise; whether an individual right to informed consent is consistent with sub-Saharan values; and when thought experiments help to establish firm conclusions about moral status. These are important issues for the field, and I use this reply to take discussion of them a step or two farther, defending my initial article from Macpherson's and Macklin's critical questions and objections.

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