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Igwebuike: an African concept for an inclusive medical ethics
  1. Luis Cordeiro‐Rodrigues1,
  2. Ada Agada2
  1. 1 Department of Philosophy, Yuelu Academy, Hunan University, Changsha, China
  2. 2 Center for Leadership Ethics in Africa, University of Fort Hare, Alice, South Africa
  1. Correspondence to Dr Luis Cordeiro‐Rodrigues, Hunan University, Changsha, Hunan, 410012, China; lccmr1984{at}

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Igwebuike is a traditional knowledge system undergirded by the metaphysical assumption that the world is a totality of interconnected and interrelated entities.1–4 African scholars in West Africa often invoke igwebuike to make sense of African ethical, social and political perspectives that are grounded in the theory of Afro-communitarianism. Afro-communitarianism is primarily a socioethical theory that is concerned with the articulation of the moral relationship between the individual and the community. The term igwebuike is derived from the Igbo root words igwe (number), bu (is) and ike (strength). Thus, the term igwebuike translates as ‘number is strength’.3 4 As an ethical theory, igwebuike espouses the ontological relatedness of the variety of entities in the world and the moral relatedness of all humans by virtue of their common possession of life, with the accompanying human capacity for feeling and thinking. Resultantly, it prescribes solidarity, companionship and identification with others as virtues that promote human flourishing. The reverence for life and humanness explicitly forbids actions that diminish this superlative and irreplaceable quality.5 This concept can be helpful in offering a conceptual framework for making healthcare more …

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  • Contributors AA wrote the definition of the concept and LC-R wrote the implications for healthcare. Then AA made final edits.

  • Funding This study was funded by Central Universities in China (531118010426).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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