American Journal of Bioethics.

Aboriginal Health Care and Bioethics: A Reflection on the Teaching of the Seven Grandfathers

Contemporary bioethics recognizes the importance of the culture in shaping ethical issues, yet in practice, a process for ethical analysis and decision making is rarely adjusted to the culture and ethnicity of involved parties. This is of a particular concern in a health care system that is caring for a growing Aboriginal population. We raise the possibility of constructing a bioethics grounded in traditional Aboriginal knowledge. As an example of an element of traditional knowledge that contains strong ethical guidance, we present the story of the Gifts of the Seven Grandfathers. We note a resemblance of this Ojibway teaching to virtue ethics in European traditions, but we suggest that there are also important differences in how these two traditions are currently presented. We hope that further engagement with a variety of indigenous moral teachings and traditions could improve health care involving Aboriginal patients and communities, and enrich the discipline of bioethics.

View Full Text

Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

Volume 16, Issue 5
May 2016