A A Email Print Share

Alumni Publications

Fr Leonard Chuwa's book African Indigenous Ethics in Global Bioethics was just published (in 2014) as the first volume in the new series Advancing Global Bioethics published by Springer. 

About this book: 

  • Challenges the contemporary schools of thought within philosophical and religious ethics
  • Underlines the fact that the substance of ethics generally and bioethics / healthcare ethics specifically is much more expansive and inclusive than it is usually understood
  • Invites ethicists and bioethicists to dialogue and research into Ubuntu and other similar indigenous cultures

This book educates whilst also challenging the contemporary schools of thought within philosophical and religious ethics. In addition, it underlines the fact that the substance of ethics in general and bioethics/healthcare ethics specifically, is much more expansive and inclusive than is usually thought. Bioethics is a relatively new academic discipline. However, ethics has existed informally since before the time of Hippocrates. The indigenous culture of African peoples has an ethical worldview which predates the western discourse. This indigenous ethical worldview has been orally transmitted over centuries. The earliest known written African text containing some concepts and content of ethics is the "Declaration of Innocence" written in 1500 B.C., found in an Egyptian text. Ubuntu is an example of African culture that presents an ethical worldview. This work interprets the culture of Ubuntu to explain the contribution of a representative indigenous African ethics to global bioethics. Many modern scholars have written about the meaning of Ubuntu for African societies over centuries. Some scholars have viewed Ubuntu as the greatest contribution of African cultures to other world cultures. None of the scholars, however has explored the culture of Ubuntu as providing a representative indigenous ethics that can contribute to global bioethics as discussed in this book.​ (From the Publisher's website)

Gregory J. Dober, MA, Against Their Will: The Secret History of Medical Experimentation on Children in Cold War Americaco-authored with Allen M. Hornblum and Judith L. Newman. Published in 2013 by Palgrave, Macmillan.

During the Cold War, an alliance between American scientists, pharmaceutical companies, and the US military pushed the medical establishment into ethically fraught territory. Doctors and scientists at prestigious institutions were pressured to produce medical advances to compete with the perceived threats coming from the Soviet Union. In Against Their Will, authors Allen Hornblum, Judith Newman, and Gregory Dober reveal the little-known history of unethical and dangerous medical experimentation on children in the United States. Through rare interviews and the personal correspondence of renowned medical investigators, they document how children-both normal and those termed "feebleminded"-from infants to teenagers, became human research subjects in terrifying experiments. They were drafted as "volunteers" to test vaccines, doused with ringworm, subjected to electric shock, and given lobotomies. They were also fed radioactive isotopes and exposed to chemical warfare agents. This groundbreaking book shows how institutional superintendents influenced by eugenics often turned these children over to scientific researchers without a second thought. Based on years of archival work and numerous interviews with both scientific researchers and former test subjects, this is a fascinating and disturbing look at the dark underbelly of American medical history. (from the publisher's website)

Dennis Macaleer, PhD, The New Testament and Bioethics: Theology and Basic Bioethics Principles. Eugene, Oregon: Pickwick Publications, 2014.

"Macaleer provides a remarkably insightful analysis of the New Testament scriptural foundations of basic bioethical principles that guide health care decisions today, whether dealing with the just distribution of health services or focusing upon the heart-wrenching decisions that occur at the end of life. This combination of impressive scholarship with a deep sense of personal faith will inspire students in the classroom, professionals in health care, and families facing perplexing decisions about illness and suffering."

Gerard Magill
Center for Healthcare Ethics
Duquesne University.

"Biomedical ethics in its early days was heavily influenced by theologians. It is refreshing and challenging that this book reviews and rejuvenates the bioethical debate from the perspective of the New Testament. Dennis Macaleer must be commended for (re)connecting bioethics and theology."

Henk ten Have
Director, Center for Healthcare Ethics
Duquesne University.