Clinical Trials and the African Person

A Quest to Re-Conceptualize Responsibility


Author: Ike Iyioke
Clinical Trials and the African Person aims to position the African notion of the self/person within the clinical trials context. As opposed to autonomy-based principlism, this other-regarding/communalist perspective is the preferred alternative model. This tactic draws further attention to the inadequacy of the principlist approach particularly in multicultural settings. It also engenders a rethink, stimulates interest, and re-assesses the failed assumptions of universal ethical principles.
As a novel attempt that runs against much of the prevailing (Euro-American) intellectual mood, this approach strives to introduce the African viewpoint by making explicit the import of the self in a re-contextualized arena, meaning within the community and a given milieu. Thus, research ethics must go beyond autonomy-based considerations for the individual, to rightly embed him/her within his/her community and the environment.

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Ike V. Iyioke, Ph.D. (2015) Michigan State University, has backgrounds in philosophy, international relations, journalism, and teaching. He has taught healthcare ethics, business ethics, and African philosophy. A MacArthur Foundation/SSRC Fellow, his career has included print journalism and university administration.
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List of Abbreviations/Terms


Part 1: Clinical Trials

1 Who is Responsible for Human Subjects (When Experiments Travel)?
 1.1 Introduction
 1.2 Experimentation with Human Subjects: A Selective Rehash
  1.2.1  Burroughs Wellcome (Now GlaxoSmithKline) Experiments
  1.2.2  Tuskegee Syphilis Study (1932–1972)
  1.2.3  Nuremberg Experiments
  1.2.4  Radiation Experiments
  1.2.5  Mustard gas Experiments
  1.2.6  Thalidomide
  1.2.7  Henry Beecher Report
  1.2.8  Jewish Chronic Disease Hospital and Willowbrook Tests
 1.3 Emergence of Research Ethics Codes
 1.4 Outsourcing of Clinical Trials
 1.5 Trovan Test Case
 1.6 Concluding Thoughts
2 Transgenic Mosquitoes Project as Model
 2.1 Introduction
 2.2 Some Preliminaries
 2.3 The GMM Model
 2.4  GMM Model and Biodiversity
 2.5 Environmental Ethics and Bioethics
 2.6 Concluding Thoughts

Part 2: Responsibility

3 Being Responsible
 3.1 Introduction
 3.2 Understanding Responsibility
 3.3 Responsibility as a Virtue
 3.4 Corporate Responsibility
 3.5 Concluding Thoughts

Part 3: Personhood

4 Re-Conceiving Responsibility: A Role For Personhood in African Thought
 4.1 Introduction
 4.2 The ‘African Man’
 4.3 African vs. Euro-American Personhood
 4.4 African Personhood and Bioethics
 4.5 Summary
 4.6 The Die is Cast
 4.7 Concluding Thoughts
 4.8 Study Limitations/Directions for Future Studies

All interested in cultural diversity in global bioethics, Africanists, biomedical scientists, scholars interested in formulating appropriate rubrics to shape discussions and promote African philosophical/multicultural values from this perspective.