Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Organ transplants in Ghana : finding a context-appropriate and practically workable ethico-legal policy framework
Author: Banyubala, Divine Ndonbi
ISNI:       0000 0004 5352 7455
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2014
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Ghana is undertaking strenuous efforts to make organ transplantation a routine surgical procedure by the end of 2014. Thus far, some 20 test kidney transplants using living related organ donors have been carried out in Ghana. However the current practice of retrieval, retention and use of (deceased) human organs and tissues following pathological services is not done in accordance with the requirements of existing law. Also, the time of human death, its relationship with obtaining organs for transplant as well as the sociocultural sensitivity Ghanaians attach to death and dying are not explored in that context. Furthermore, there is no coherent examination of the various interests and rights recognised by Ghanaian law in deceased human bodies despite that fact that progress in medicine and biotechnology has recast the value in human biomaterials. Consequently, given that organ transplantation is new to Ghana; that there are no ethical, legal and professional governance frameworks specific to the sector; that there are concerns about a systemic culture of inappropriate retention and use of human body parts following pathological services; that there is illicit trade in human body parts (ova, sperm etc.); and that Ghana is undertaking test kidney transplants in the absence of specific ethical, legal and clinical guidance addressing the controversies surrounding the permissible uses of human organs and tissues; this doctoral thesis argues that examining these ethico-legal controversies within the Ghanaian socio-legal setting constitutes an essential step in the quest for context-appropriate and practically workable regulatory and governance frameworks for the emerging transplant sector in that country. Towards this end, the thesis discusses indigenous thinking around death (Post-mortem Personality Identity Renegotiation (PPIR)), ancestorship and the position of Ghanaian customary law on ownership interests and rights in deceased bodies and their parts and points policy makers to how the socio-legal peculiarities of the Ghanaian regulatory context could be exploited to achieve the dual aims of finding an adequate balance between, on the one hand, protecting individual, family and societal interests, and on the other hand, promoting the social utility aims of organ transplantation and science research. It concludes by proposing that i) the desired regulatory balance could be achieved through legal foresighting, and ii) that any such regulation must affirm the recognition of property interests in (deceased) bodies by Ghanaian customary law as that reflects the cultural, social and constitutional values of the regulatory context.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Ancestors, Death, Ghana, Human biomaterials, Legal foresighting, Ownership, Posthumous harms, Posthumous interests, Posthumous rights, Property, Regulation