- Notes on the Contributors
- Methods in Bioethics
- The Way We Reason Now: Reflective Equilibrium in Bioethics
- Mental Disorder, Moral Agency, and the Self
- ‘Reinventing’ the Rule of Double Effect
- Policy‐Making in Pluralistic Societies
- Tiers Without Tears: the Ethics of a Two‐Tier Health Care System
- Justice and the Elderly
- Organ Transplantation
- For Dignity or Money: Feminists on the Commodification of Women's Reproductive Labour
- The Definition of Death
- The Aging Society and the Expansion of Senility: Biotechnological and Treatment Goals
- Death is a Punch in the Jaw: Life‐Extension and its Discontents
- Precedent Autonomy, Advance Directives, and End‐of‐Life Care
- Physician‐Assisted Death: the State of the Debate
- Abortion Revisited
- Moral Status, Moral Value, and Human Embryos: Implications for Stem Cell Research
- Therapeutic Cloning: Politics and Policy
- Population Genetic Research and Screening: Conceptual and Ethical Issues
- Genetic Interventions and The Ethics of Enhancement of Human Beings
- Pharmacogenomics: Ethical and Regulatory Issues
- Clinical Equipoise: Foundational Requirement or Fundamental Error?
- Research on Cognitively Impaired Adults
- Research in Developing Countries
- Animal Experimentation
- The Implications of Public Health for Bioethics
- Global Health
- Bioethics and Bioterrorism
Abstract and Keywords
No single concept has been more important in the contemporary development of bioethics, and the revival of medical ethics, than the concept of autonomy, and none better reflects both the philosophical and the political currents shaping the field. This article proposes to consider autonomy in three of its facets and functions: first, as a concept in ethical theory; second, as a concept in applied ethics; and finally, as what might be called an ideological concept — that is, one that both draws from and reinforces non-philosophical interests at work in the profession of medicine, biomedical science and technology, and the broader liberal individualistic culture of Anglophone countries, particularly the United States, where a bioethical discourse centred on autonomy has flourished.
Bruce Jennings is Director of the Center for Humans and Nature, a private operating foundation that focuses on ethical issues in environmental and health policy, and Senior Consultant at the Hastings Center, Garrison, NY. He also teaches at the Yale University School of Public Health. He is author of numerous books and articles on ethical and social issues in health‐care and public policy. He is co‐author (with Willard Gaylin) of The Perversion of Autonomy: The Uses of Coercion and Constraint in a Liberal Society (2nd edn., Georgetown University Press, 2003). He is currently at work on a book on dementia, quality of life, and the ethics of long‐term care.
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