Autonomy, Consent and the Law by Sheila A.M. McLean

By Sheila A.M. McLean

Autonomy is usually acknowledged to be the dominant moral precept in sleek bioethics, and it's also very important in legislations. admire for autonomy is related to underpin the legislations of consent, that's theoretically designed to guard the precise of sufferers to make judgements in response to their very own values and for his or her personal purposes. The proposal that consent underpins beneficent and lawful clinical intervention is deeply rooted within the jurisprudence of nations during the global. despite the fact that, Autonomy, Consent and the Law demanding situations the connection among consent ideas and autonomy, arguing that the very nature of the criminal approach inhibits its skill to admire autonomy, in particular in circumstances the place sufferers argue that their skill to behave autonomously has been lowered or denied as a result of withholding of data which they might have desired to obtain.

Sheila McLean additional argues that the bioethical debate concerning the real nature of autonomy – whereas wealthy and challenging – has had little if any influence at the legislation. utilizing the alleged contrast among the individualistic and the relational versions of autonomy as a template, the writer proposes that, whereas it'd be assumed that the model ostensibly most popular by way of legislation – approximately akin to the individualistic version – will be transparently and always utilized, in truth courts have vacillated among the 2 to accomplish policy-based targets. this can be highlighted through exam of 4 particular parts of the legislations which so much quite simply lend themselves to attention of the appliance of the autonomy precept: specifically refusal of life-sustaining therapy and assisted death, maternal/foetal concerns, genetics and transplantation.

This booklet could be of serious curiosity to students of scientific legislations and bioethics.

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Hastings Center Report, March – April 2006: 38–45, at p 42. Kalbian, A H, ‘Narrative ARTifice and Women’s Agency’, Bioethics, 19(2), 2005: 93–111. 38 Autonomy, Consent and the Law Whether it does so or not will ultimately depend on how the law accommodates autonomy and this is dependent on the law of consent. Consent is said to lie at the centre of patients’ rights as it – theoretically at least – protects their right to decide what can and cannot be done with or to them. Since the law of consent is generally said to be the vehicle by which respect for autonomy is translated into law, the next chapter will consider how and whether this is achieved.

Or I may need treatment, which will likely cause me to be nauseous. Although there are clinical benefits 5 Lowey, E H, ‘In Defense of Paternalism’, Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, 26, 2005: 445–68, at p 447. From autonomy to consent 43 associated with beginning the treatment as quickly as possible, on the other hand I may have an important family wedding coming up which I do not want to miss. I might therefore accept the risks associated with delaying treatment in order to attend to personal matters of great importance to me, however medically irrational this may seem to be.

Pdf (accessed on 19/10/2007), at p 491. , at p 492. From Hippocrates to paternalism to autonomy: the new hegemony 37 Conclusion What the foregoing shows is that, while virtually every school of ethical, social and political thought places considerable emphasis on the value of what it is to be autonomous, there is less agreement as to what autonomy actually means or consists in than might have been anticipated given the current dominance of the principle itself. Theories range from the individualistic, to the deontological to the relational.

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