What is Bioethics?
Medical ethics traces its roots to several early ethical codes, the most famous of which is the Hippocratic Oath. Its primary concern was prescribing the ethics of the doctor-patient relationship.
Modern Bioethics began about fifteen years post World War Two in an attempt to 'humanise' medical education and practise. Medicine was considered a profession overly focused on scientific and technological advancements requiring specialized skills. As such, its 'caring' nature seemed to have lapsed. Bioethics aimed to reinstate this care by infusing human virtues and the humanities into health sciences.
The Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics
The Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics is a university-based centre committed to the values of justice, dignity, respect and freedom - both intellectual and academic. The Centre is a Faculty centre situated in the School of Clinical Medicine.
Staff at the centre boast a wide range of expertise in ethics and they are deeply committed to furthering the discipline of bioethics in South Africa and internationally. Centre staff take pride in advising and consulting for policy makers at national and provincial level, as well as in programmes like Good Clinical Practise - and that is just the tip of the iceberg.
At national policy level, Centre staff provide advice and consultation in bioethics, human rights and health law for health sciences curricula, regulation, development and ethics in research for the country.
At an international level, centre staff contribute to programmes in UNESCO, the European Commission and The National Institutes of Health (US) to name but a few. Centre staff also contribute to the development of bioethics and research ethics capacity on the different African regions.
The Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics contributes to excellence in bioethics by:
Recent Event: Reflections on End-of-Life Decisions
South African Journal of Bioethics and Law
Call for abstracts
Special edition of SAJBL:Ethical legal and social issues (ELSI) related to stemcell research and therapy in South Africa
28 November 2014: deadline for submission of abstracts
February 2015: deadline for submission of manuscripts
July 2015: publication of the SAJBL special edition
South African Unit of the UNESCO International Network in Bioethics
The Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics is one 5 World Medical Association Cooperating Centres, and the first WMA Cooperating Centre in Africa