Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 29 (5):297-306 (2008)

The central importance of reproduction in all human cultures has given rise to many methods and techniques of assisting reproduction or overcoming infertility. Such methods and techniques have achieved spectacular successes in the Western world, where processes like in vitro fertilization (IVF) constitute a remarkable breakthrough. In this paper, the author attempts to reflect critically on assisted reproduction technologies (ART) from the background and perspective of African culture, a culture within which human reproduction is given the highest priority but which also exhibits a highly ambivalent attitude to modern technology-assisted methods of reproduction. The author considers the ethical crux of reproductive technologies to be linked to the issue of the moral status of the human embryo and argues that a morally significant line of demarcation cannot be drawn between embryos and other categories of humans.
Keywords Assisted human reproduction  Infertility  In vitro fertilization (IVF)  African culture  Human embryo  Moral status  Industrialized Western world
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2009
DOI 10.1007/s11017-008-9082-0
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 65,784
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Technology, Ethics and the End of Nature.F. Ferre - 1994 - In H. Odera Oruka (ed.), Philosophy, Humanity, and Ecology. African Academy of Sciences. pp. 237--238.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
74 ( #149,102 of 2,462,978 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #449,363 of 2,462,978 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes