Manitza Kotzé
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Bio-power and assisted reproductive technologies in the global south
An ethical response from South Africa informed by vulnerability and justice
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Two articles in the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights are of particular relevance to the issue of assisted reproductive technology in the global south, and in South Africa especially. Article 8 mentions respect for human vulnerability, while article 10 calls for equality, justice and equity. In this chapter, these two articles will be brought into conversation with the issue of assisted reproductive technologies in the global south, taking the South African context as the point of departure. The articles underscore the necessity for vulnerable groups and individuals to be protected in the application and advancement of scientific knowledge, medical practice and associated technologies, while also emphasising that all human beings should be treated in a just and equitable manner. In the context of South Africa, where the majority of the population are unable to access and afford most forms of assisted reproductive technology, the issues of biopower and misuse of power come particularly to the fore. Especially in forms of biotechnology where donor material is utilised, donors often come from vulnerable groups, while those that benefit are in positions of privilege, where they can both access and afford these treatments. This also raises the issue of intersectionality in the ethical discussion on assisted reproductive technologies in the South African context.

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