South African Family Practice

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Communitarianism and Communitarian Bioethics

GA Ogunbanjo GA, D Knapp van Bogaert


Communitarian means pertaining to or characteristic of a community. It is the perspective that recognises both individual human dignity and the social dimension of being human.1 According to the Concise Oxford Dictionary, communitarianism and communalism are synonymous.2 Communal means relating to or benefiting a community. Communalism is a political theory advocating a society in which all property is publicly owned and each person is paid and works according to his needs and her ability. According to the Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, communitarianism is a model of political organisation that stresses ties of affection, kinship, and a sense of common purpose and tradition.3 The meaning of community varies from exclusively the political state to smaller communities and institutions and to the family.4

For full text, click here:SA Fam Pract 2005;47(10):51-53
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