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Root causes of epistemic (in)justice for the global south in health ethics and bioethics
  1. Godfrey B Tangwa
  1. Philosophy, University of Yaounde I, Yaounde, Cameroon
  1. Correspondence to Dr Godfrey B Tangwa, University of Yaounde I, Yaounde, Cameroon; gbtangwa{at}

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In a feature article in the Journal of Medical Ethics entitled ‘Where is knowledge from the global South? An account of epistemic justice for a global bioethics’,1 Pratt and de Vries give a highly persuasive account of global injustices within global bioethics especially health ethics against the global South that every bioethicist needs to read and to reflect on. The opening three sentences of the abstract of this account capture the ethical essence of the whole article.

The silencing of the epistemologies, theories, principles, values, concepts and experiences of the global South, constitutes a particularly egregious epistemic injustice in bioethics. Our shared responsibility to rectify that injustice should be at the top of the ethics agenda. That it is not, or only is in part, is deeply problematic, and endangers the credibility of the entire field.1

It is quite significant that both authors of this article are scholars of the global North with research interest in the global South; so where are the scholars of the global South, the putative conceptualisers and creators of global South knowledge who should be complaining about the injustice in question? The answer to this question is part and parcel of the question itself that has been so boldly raised by Pratt and de Vries. They go on to describe in some detail the general conditions and requirements of epistemic justice for global health ethics and bioethics including even a consideration …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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