Corruption in the public health sector in South Africa: A global bioethical perspective

R Rheeder


It is clear that corruption as the abuse of power is an enormous bioethical issue in the public health sector in SA, but as a challenge, it has not elicited much discussion from a global bioethical perspective. The Universal Declaration of Bioethics and Human Rights (UDBHR) on corruption considers three matters. First, the existence of corruption as a problem of power is recognised in the health environment and condemned (article 18). Second, corruption is indicated as an immoral phenomenon that harms the interests of the patient (article 4), ignores vulnerable people (article 8) and neglects social responsibility (article 14). Third, it can be concluded that the UDBHR expresses the opinion that corruption has to be combated by a process of ethical decision-making (article 18.2-3), the use of ethics committees (article 19) and ethics education (article 23.1).

Author's affiliations

R Rheeder, Department of Moral Development of Society, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

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South African Journal of Bioethics and Law 2021;14(3):84. DOI:10.7196/SAJBL.2021.v14i3.693

Article History

Date submitted: 2022-01-28
Date published: 2022-01-28

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