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Assessing the ethico-cultural implications of Invitro Fertilization (IVF) within the rural Zulu communities in South Africa.

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This dissertation is a critical analysis of the African ways of managing infertility. It argues that infertile people are stigmatized in African communities because they are not regarded as complete social beings. This dissertation outline some of the abuse infertile people go through in African traditional communities through a desktop research. The causes of infertility in traditional communities are mostly associated to witchcraft and anger of the ancestors. This dissertation discusses the African ways of managing infertility, including traditional adoption, traditional healers, polygamy, and levirate practice. From a western perspective, infertility does not mean all infertile individuals cannot have children. Rather, in some cases they require some medical assistance and treatment. In searching for solutions or cure(s) to infertility, people resort to different kinds of treatment methods. Artificial Reproductive Technology (ART) has emerged for the treatment of infertility and other techniques. Different types of ART include IVF, gametes donation, surrogacy, artificial insemination, and ovulation induction just to name a few. This dissertation focuses on IVF as the management of infertility within the Zulu communities. It argues that IVF still faces some challenges in Zulu communities, mainly because of their beliefs and values. Through the lens of limited communitarianism and human rights theory which are closely related, this dissertation argues that the African traditional ways of managing infertility are violating individual rights. Additionally, this dissertation argues that, using IVF as a management of infertility in rural Zulu communities will promote human rights that are disregarded by the African ways of managing infertility.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg.